Department of Health, PPAT and Bayer Thai reinforce their fight against unplanned pregnancies,

Department of Health, PPAT and Bayer Thai reinforce their fight against unplanned pregnancies,

promoting "Breaking Myths" Campaign on World Contraception Day 2022

Department of Health, the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT), and Bayer Thai are campaigning against contraception myths, seeking to extend correct information to teenage groups for proper family planning and prevention of unintended pregnancies in Thailand.

The Department of Health, the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT) under the Patronage of H.R.H. The Princess Mother and Bayer Thai Co., Ltd. joined forces to commemorate World Contraception Day 2022 (which takes place every September 26) at Siam Square and launch the “Breaking Myths" Campaign on 25 September 2022. 

The campaign aims to raise awareness among teenagers on contraception so that they can lay out their future and have quality way of life as well as reduce unintended pregnancies in Thailand. 

Dr.Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, Director–General, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, said, “Unplanned pregnancies among teenagers in Thailand have been tenacious. The Department of Health’s latest statistics show that 57,857 teens aged 10-19 years old gave birth in 2020, an average of 159 cases each day. Among them, 4,517 girls or 7.8% gave birth to their second child(1). The Department of Health, with principal responsibility for promoting youth reproductive health, has worked with networked organisations which are the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and private-sector organisations, in launching activities that promote knowledge on correct birth control and entitlement and access to long-acting reversible contraception services. The shared goal is to reduce the number of live births by mothers aged 15-19 to no more than 25 per 1,000 population within 2026.”

Dr.Atthaphon Kaewsamrit, Deputy Director–General, Department of Health, said, “Tackling unintended teen pregnancies demands continual collaboration. The Bureau of Reproductive Health, Department of Health and Bayer Thai, its partner over the past 15 years, have promoted health literacy and raised awareness among the general public, chiefly teenagers, on the significance of contraception, contraception methods and family planning. Driving this collaboration is the social consequences of unplanned teen pregnancies, involving the future of pregnant teens, family problems and health condition of young mothers and their babies. These problems stem chiefly from ineffective birth control caused by lack of knowledge or incorrect contraceptive application. For this year’s World Contraception Day 2022, a collaboration between the Department of Health, PPAT and Bayer Thai, was organised under Breaking Myths which focuses on right understanding and knowledge on birth control to help teens prevent unintended pregnancies.”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Luedech Girdwichai, President of the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT), added that, “Reproductive health issues remain in Thailand because of misperceptions on birth control among a large number of teens and others of reproductive age, circulated mainly on the Internet and social media. This leads them to unplanned pregnancies and eventually unsafe pregnancy termination. For preventive purposes, PPAT has come up with a handbook of 8 birth control myths prepared by three obstetricians: Prof.Dr.Surasak Taneepanichskul from Chulalongkorn Hospital; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Manopchai Thamkhantho, an obstetrician and a council member of the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Atiwut Kamudhamas, President of Thai Association for Clinical Sexology and Sexual Medicine. Their shared knowledge will be communicated with teenagers through various channels.”

The 8 Myths on Birth Control Handbook is designed to correct misinformation about birth control. Some of the myths include: taking contraceptive pills backwards will enlarge breast size; people who have taken birth control pills and stop will have difficulty getting pregnant; continuous intake of contraceptive pills causes cancers; pregnancy is preventable if having sex seven days before and after menstruation; pregnancy is avoidable if having sex during periods; and emergency contraceptive pills can replace regular pills. 

Ms. JinA Lee, Managing Director of Bayer Thai Co., Ltd. and General Manager of Pharmaceuticals Division, said, “As a leading life science and Women’s Healthcare company, Bayer Thai is committed to continually supporting family planning throughout the various stages of women’s lives. Concurrently, we are launching Bayer for Her, a new initiative to kick-start conversations of care for Thai women to solicit more information about women’s health concerns. World Contraception Day is a day when everyone can come together with a common goal, that is to reduce unplanned pregnancies among Thai teens and prevent sexually-transmitted diseases, and we are proud to have been part of it for the past 15 years and counting.”

Dr. Paneeya Sutabutra, Country Medical Director of Pharmaceuticals Division, Bayer Thai Co., Ltd., added that, “Unintended pregnancies have been on the rise globally. Aside from lack of awareness on birth control and inappropriate contraceptive methods, contraception myths regarding effects on health and future pregnancy are very unhelpful.”

“Meanwhile, the COVID-19 outbreak over the past more than two-and-a-half years makes it difficult for girls, particularly those from lower middle-income families, to access good healthcare or consultation on birth control, family planning or safe pregnancy. The number of unintended pregnancy cases thus remain high.” 

Under the “Breaking Myths” Campaign to mark World Contraception Day 2022, the tripartite network of the Bureau of Reproductive Health, Department of Health, the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand, and Bayer Thai held the following activities to reach target groups: 

  • 2022 WCD on-ground event at Lido Connect Siam Square on 25 September 2022, featuring an obstetrician talk, sharing of young students’ experiences of schools’ unwanted pregnancy campaign, and a campaign to raise awareness of the correct information about contraception
  • “8 Myths on Birth Control Handbook” 
  • Educational VDO clips by obstetrician Dr. Olarik Musigavong, featuring actress Kanticha Chumma under the concept of “Thorough check, right contraception and planned pregnancy” for release on Facebook Pages: Mission to The Moon and คลับนี้เลดี้คุม by younglove.

The Bureau of Reproductive Health, Department of Health, the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand and Bayer Thai will also proceed with “Young Love”, a knowledge-sharing and consultation project on safe love for university students that was launched in 2014. This year, five Young Love roadshows are scheduled at universities, targeted to attract 10,000 participants. The project aims to spread the right knowledge on proper birth control, in order to reduce undesirable pregnancy. 

Activities to mark World Contraception Day 2022 (26 September 2022), were celebrated in 70 countries; testament to the strength of the network tackling unintended and undesirable teen pregnancies. 

(1) Bureau of Reproductive Health 

#เช็คให้ชัวร์คุมให้ถูกมีลูกเมื่อพร้อม #BreakingMyths #WorldContraceptionDay2022 #WCD2022

COR-UN-WHC-TH-0017-1 (09/2022)

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