BANGKOK – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Thai Department of Health was handing out pills it called “very magical vitamins” to prospective mothers to boost the country’s falling birthrate.
Government employees from the Ministry of Health took to the streets of Bangkok on Tuesday to distribute 1 million baht’s worth of prenatal vitamins containing folic acid and iron to women between the ages of 20 and 34.
The giveaway is part of a program called ”the campaign for red-cheeked Thai women to have children for the country using very magical vitamins”.
Couples are getting married less often and later in their lives, meaning fewer children each year.
”The Thai way of life is changing,” said Wachira Pengjuntr, director of the Department of Health. ”Thai women are receiving higher education and the newer generation are placing a higher value on being single.”
Thailand’s population grew only 0.4% in 2015, down from 2.7% in 1970. If this trend continues, the annual population growth will be down to 0% in 10 years, Dr Wachira said.