Thailand to distribute nearly 100 million condoms
Thailand distributes 95 million condoms to fight STDs and teen pregnancy
Thailand plans to distribute 95 million free condoms to fight sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and teen pregnancy. The Southeast Asian country is seeking to promote safer sex in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.
Beginning Feb. 1, universal health card holders can receive 10 condoms a week for a year, said government spokesman Rachada Dhnadirek. The condoms will be available in four sizes and can be purchased at pharmacies and primary care units in hospitals across the country.
“The campaign to distribute free condoms in Thailand will help prevent disease and promote public health,” Rachada said, adding that among the diseases the government seeks to prevent are syphilis, cervical cancer, gonorrhea, chlamydia and AIDS.
STDs in Thailand have been on the rise in recent years, with syphilis and gonorrhea accounting for more than half of the 2,021 cases, according to the latest official figures. The age groups of 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 have the highest number of cases.
In 2021, only 24.4 out of 1,000 Thai girls between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth, according to official figures. The global rate is 42.5 for the same age group in the same year, according to the World Health Organization.
Of the nearly 70 million Thais, about 50 million participate in the government’s universal health care program, also known as the “gold card,” according to the latest government data. The card is used to obtain certain types of medical care at public and selected private hospitals.
Thai universal health card holders are entitled to receive 10 condoms a week for a year.
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