Thailand has tried everything to raise the declining birthrate. Starting from providing cash bonus, to tax incentives. But on Valentine's Day this year, the Thai government is trying a new way of sharing vitamin pills.
As in many other Asian countries, the elderly population in Thailand is increasing rapidly. The birth rate fell sharply to 1.5 children per woman by 2015, from more than 6 children per woman in 1960, according to World Bank data
In Bangkok, health workers distributed folic acid and iron pills in colored boxes yellow, to attract couples to prepare for pregnancy. The pills are accompanied by a brochure containing an explanation of how to lead a healthy life to soon have a baby.
Previous relationships and sexuality are taboo subjects to talk about. But the behavior has changed and the Thai people have dealt with this issue more openly. Nevertheless, Thai health experts have to discuss more about the process of pregnancy and birth, if the government wants to raise the population.
With China, Thailand has a high proportion of elderly people compared to other developing countries in East Asia, World Bank data show . Thailand's population is expected to begin to decline by 2030, leading to economic problems such as shortage of labor and the number of taxpayers shrinking as the working-age population shrinks.
Various ways that the government launched are not very successful in boosting the birth rate, just like the neighboring countries Singapore, one of the countries with the lowest birth rates in the world. Experts say the financial incentives offered by the government have not been able to cover the true cost of raising a child.
The birthrate in Thailand in 2015 is 1.5 births per woman, below 2.6 births in Cambodia and 2.1 in Malaysia. Experts say that if Thailand wants the population to grow, birth rates should reach 2.1 births.
There are many reasons to explain the decline in the birth rate in Thailand, from rising living and work costs, to population shifting from agricultural activities, which require much (19659002) Some have accused the success of free condom campaigns in the early 1990s, aimed at combating HIV / AIDS, as the cause of reduced births.
"From 1970 to 1983, the average 1 million Thai babies are born every year. After that, the birth rate starts to fall. Now only a little over 700 thousand babies are born each year, "Kasem Wetsutthanon, director of the Metropolitan Health and Wellness Institution, told Reuters.
Kasem accused the change in views of the traditional family as the cause of the decline in birthrate
" Now, many who thinks a child has a burden. "
Nalin Somboonying, 27, the mother of a four-year-old said some felt they needed to collect the price of things before starting to build a family.
" I think now people people want to be ready first. They feel they must have a house, a car, before they have children, "he told Reuters.
Satta Wongdara, 31, who took the pills at a kiosk at Lak Si in Bangkok, blamed long working hours.
"People now work more, so they do not have many children," Satta told Reuters.
However, Kasem said he hoped the pills, which he called the 'magic pill' could make Thais think twice about pregnancy.
"We want people to have more children." [fw/au]