Thailand 'a model' for family planning

Thailand 'a model' for family planning

CHON BURI: Thailand's successes in implementing family planning schemes over the past few decades showed that the country could be a model for other nations which are now facing an explosion of new births, according to the director of Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Jose G Timon II on Monday.

Mr Timon made the remark at the 2022 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Pattaya, which ends on Wednesday. Over 3,500 participants from 125 countries are participating in the event, in which they have shared their research, and innovations and discussed challenges surrounding family planning.

Thailand was chosen to host this year's conference due to its outstanding performance on the provision of birth control to those who need it the most, as well as its universal health care system, he said.

Thailand introduced its first family planning initiative among rural families in 1966, before expanding it into a national policy in 1971. As a result of the initiative, the rate of contraceptive use went up from 15% to about 70%, which led to a decline in the fertility rate from 6.1 to 1.5.

"We do hope that other countries could learn from Thailand. We see no reason not to have the annual meeting here in Thailand, which is well-known for its reputation for hospitality," he told the press conference.

Sathit Pitutecha, deputy minister to the Ministry of Public Health, said that Thailand has now shifted its focus to increasing its population size, which is starting to decline as a result of previous policies on birth control over the past four decades.

The average number of babies born each year has dropped to less than 600,000 per year right now, compared to about one million a year between 1964-1983.

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