Thailand plans to circulate more than 95 million condoms for free before Valentine’s Day to encourage safe sex and prevent teenage pregnancy. With this measure, the government’s objective is to restrict sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, AIDS and cervical cancer.
According to media company Bloomberg, Rachada Dhnadirek said that universal healthcare cardholders from February 1 onwards can get 10 condoms a week for a year. These condoms are available in four sizes in pharmacies and primary care centres of hospitals across the nation.
Rachada said, “The campaign to give out free condoms to gold-cardholders will help prevent diseases and promote public health.”
This measure is due to the increased STD cases over the past years. In 2021, syphilis and gonorrhea estimated the maximum of these cases, according to the latest official data stating that the age groups- 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 were most affected.
As per World Health Organisation (WHO), out of 1000 Thai girls aged 15- 19, 24.4 gave birth in 2021. The global rate regarding the same age group stands at 42.5.
Out of 70 million people in Thailand, 50 million people have the privileges of the “gold card”, the government’s universal healthcare plan. The card holders can use it for medical care and certain private hospitals.