• Short Summary

    A nation-wide public health programme in Thailand has been introduced with foreign aid.

    The programme, sponsored?

  • Description

    A nation-wide public health programme in Thailand has been introduced with foreign aid.

    The programme, sponsored by the Thai Ministry of Public Health, is aimed primarily at family planning and birth control. 1974 has been designated by the United Nations as World Population Year, and in over 60 countries, including Thailand, projects have been introduced to deal with over-population.

    The population in Thailand in 1974 was estimated at 37 million, and in 1995 that figure is expected to double at the present birth rate.

    According to government statistics, health and medical facilities in Thailand have not kept pace with the population growth rate. At present, there is one doctor for every 7,000 Thais. The international standard is one doctor per 1,000.

    The Ministry of Pubic Health's Department of Medical Services had three large hospitals in Bangkok, and at least one provincial hospital in 69 of the 71 provinces. To reach the population in rural areas, the government has introduced health centres. There are three classes of health centres, ranging from a staff of one auxiliary midwife to a full staff of one doctor, at least one nurse, an auxiliary midwife, and a sanitarian.

    Much of the health centre's work involves travelling to rural areas and remote villages. The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is providing 3,600 motor-cycles to auxiliary midwives and nurses at an expected cost of US$600,000 (24,000 pounds sterling). Other sources of foreign assistance, such as the Agency for International Development (AID) has provided medical supplies, research equipment, and vechicles for clinics.

    SYNOPSIS: There are about 3,000 health centres in Thailand.

    Two auxiliary midwives staff the sub-district centre in Korat Province. With only 1 doctor for every 7,000 Thais, the government has trained midwives to play an important role in the nation's public health programme.

    Much of their work involves travelling to rural areas. With motorcycles provided by the United Nations Children's Fund, the midwives make their daily rounds to remote villages. That usually begins late in the usually begins late in the afternoon, when farmers are at home from work.

    The Korat sub-district health centre cares for over 1,200 people in 12 villages in the province. Major medical work is done in hospitals. Virtually each province has its own.

    Health centres form part of the nation-wide public health programme which the Thai government introduced with foreign aid. the programme is Thailand's contribution to the 1974 World Population Year project, sponsored by the United Nations.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
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