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Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Tries to Tackle Teenage Pregnancy



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Teenager Pook (behind), 14, with her 11-day-old baby

CHIANG RAI – Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is taking serious action against the problem of teenage pregnancy which has been rising fast in the last ten years.During a visit to Buriram’s hospital on Saturday, Prof. Dr. Rachata Rachatanavin, the Minister for Public Health unveiled a plan to develop teen clinics in hospitals under the ministry, to address this problem.

He said teen clinics should be easier for both teenagers and their parents to access and ask for help. While keeping secret the names of teens who are pregnant, the clinic should cooperate with their families and schools to sort out the problem.

According to the Public Health Ministry, Thailand’s teenage pregnancy rate is high when compared to other Southeast Asian countries. Even though the nation’s overall birthrate has been gradually dropping, the rate of teen births is rising rapidly.In the past ten years, more than a million children were born to mothers who were aged 15 to 19.

Increasing teenage pregnancy is a wake-up call for Thai society to adopt new approaches to gender equality and comprehensive sexuality education for both boys and girls, experts say.

Experts believe sex education is the most effective way to prevent the problem becoming an economic burden as the workforce shrinks with an aging population.

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