BANGKOK – The Public Health Ministry reported today an average 370 babies are born daily from Thai teenage mothers and about 10 babies from girls below age 15 years old.
Public Health Minister Cholanan Srikaew told of the increasing trend of teen pregnancies at younger ages, about 15-16 years, and only 55 per cent of teenagers use condoms during their first-time sexual intercourse.
The majority of teens fail to use contraceptive devices or use them incorrectly while many misunderstand that first-time sex does not lead to pregnancy, he said.
According to 2011 statistics, 53 per cent of pregnant women seeking 30 per cent were students. More than 80 per cent were unwanted pregnancies.
Dr Cholanan said the Public Health Ministry is working with related agencies in implementing the National Fertility Health Plan (2010-2014) – the first of its kind of Thailand – with the objective discouraging unprepared pregnancies, promoting closer relationships in families and providing sex education to students.
Coping with unwanted pregnancies
Meanwhile, out of the approximately 250,000 Thai teenagers who become pregnant each year, half of them seek abortions, according to Dr. Yongyut Wongpiromsarn, Senior Expert in Mental Health, Thai Ministry of Public Health.
That means more than 100,000 children are being born each year to teenage mothers who in many cases cannot properly look after them.
Often these children are raised by their grandparents or other relatives, rather than their biological mothers. Read more……