Health in Thailand

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Thailand has had "a long and successful history of health development," according to the World Health Organization. Life expectancy is averaged at seventy years. Non-communicable diseases form the major burden of morbidity and mortality, while infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis, as well as traffic accidents, are also important public health issues.[1]

Water and sanitation[edit]

In 2008, 98 percent of the population had access to an improved water source.[2] Ninety-six percent of the population have access to improved sanitation facilities.[2]

Health status[edit]

Non-communicable diseases form the major burden of mortality in Thailand, while infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis, as well as traffic accidents, are also important public health issues;[1] the mortality rate is 205 per 1,000 adults for those aged between 15 and 59 years.[3] The under-five mortality rate is 14 per 1,000 live births;[3] the maternal mortality ratio is 48 per 100,000 live births (2008).[3]

Years of life lost, distributed by cause, was 24 percent from communicable diseases, 55 percent from non-communicable diseases, and 22 percent from injuries (2008).[3]

Life expectancy[edit]

Life expectancy in Thailand is 71 for males and 78 for females.[3]

Infectious diseases[edit]

Major infectious diseases in Thailand also include bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis, dengue fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, and leptospirosis;[4] the prevalence of tuberculosis is 189 per 100,000 population.[3]

HIV/AIDS[edit]

Since HIV/AIDS was first reported in Thailand in 1984, 1,115,415 adults had been infected as of 2008, with 585,830 having died since 1984. 532,522 Thais were living with HIV/AIDS in 2008.[5] In 2009 the adult prevalence of HIV was 1.3%.[6] As of 2009, Thailand had the highest prevalence of HIV in Asia.[7]

The government has begun to improve its support to persons with HIV/AIDS and has provided funds to HIV/AIDS support groups. Public programs have begun to alter unsafe behaviour, but discrimination against those infected continues; the government has funded an antiretroviral drug program and, as of September 2006, more than 80,000 HIV/AIDS patients had received such drugs.

The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study in partnership with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health to ascertain the effectiveness of providing people who inject drugs illicitly with daily doses of the anti-retroviral drug Tenofovir as a prevention measure; the results of the study were released in mid-June 2013 and revealed a 48.9 percent reduced incidence of the virus among the group of subjects who received the drug, in comparison to the control group who received a placebo. The principal investigator of the study stated in Lancet, "We now know that pre-exposure prophylaxis can be a potentially vital option for HIV prevention in people at very high risk for infection, whether through sexual transmission or injecting drug use."[8]

Food safety[edit]

Food safety scares are common to Thailand. Besides, common is microbial contamination of street food left out in the hot sun and dusty roads as well as store food contamination by banned or toxic pesticides and fake food products.[9]

In July 2012 consumer action groups demanded four unlisted toxic pesticides found on common vegetables at levels 100 times the EU guidelines (which are banned in developed countries) be banned. Chemical companies are requesting to add them to the Thai Dangerous Substances Act so they can continue to be used, including on exported mangoes to developed countries which have banned their use.[9] In 2014, Khon Kaen University concluded after a study, that Thailand should ban 155 types of pesticides, with 14 listed as urgent: Carbofuran, Methyl Bromide, Dichlorvos, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Methidathion-methyl, Omethoate, Zeta Cypermethrin, Endosulfan sulfate, Aldicarb, Azinphos-methyl, Chlorpyrifos-ethyl, Methoxychlor and Paraquat.[10]

Antibiotic abuse[edit]

A study by the health ministry and Britain's Wellcome Trust released in September 2016 found that an average of two people die every hour from multi-drug resistant bacterial infections in Thailand;[11] that death rate is much higher than in Europe. The improper use of antibiotics for humans and livestock has led to the proliferation of drug-resistant microorganisms, creating new strains of "superbugs" that can be defeated only by "last resort" medicines with toxic side effects. In Thailand, antibiotics are freely available in pharmacies without a prescription and even in convenience stores. Unregulated use of antibiotics on livestock is also problematic. Drug-resistant bacteria spreads through direct contact between humans and farm animals, ingested meat, or the environment. Antibiotics are often used on healthy animals to prevent, rather than treat, illnesses.[11]

In November 2016, Thailand announced its intent to halve antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections by 2021, joining the global battle against "superbugs", it aims to reduce the use of antibiotics in humans by 20 percent and in animals by 30 percent. The health minister said that about 88,000 patients develop AMR infections a year; the infections claim at least 38,000 lives in Thailand each year, causing 42 billion baht in economic damage. Without measures to address the issue, he said that the world would enter a "post-antibiotic era" with at least 10 million people around the world dying from AMR by 2050, 4.7 million of them in Asia.[12]

Teen pregnancies[edit]

In 2014, some 334 babies were born daily in Thailand to mothers aged between 15 and 19.[13]

Pollution[edit]

The World Bank estimates that deaths in Thailand attributable to air pollution has risen from 31,000 in 1990 to roughly 49,000 in 2013.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Thailand-Country cooperation strategy: At a glance" (PDF). World Health Organization. May 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Thailand-Country cooperation strategy: At a glance" (PDF). World Health Organization. May 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Thailand - Country health profile" (PDF). Global Health Observatory. World Health Organization. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  4. ^ Thailand country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (July 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ Pongphon Sarnsamak (25 November 2008). "More teenaged girls getting HIV infection". The Nation. Archived from the original on 26 November 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Thailand". HIV InSite. UCSF Center for HIV Information. July 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  7. ^ "COUNTRY COMPARISON :: HIV/AIDS - ADULT PREVALENCE RATE". The CIA World Factbook. CIA. 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  8. ^ Emma Bourke (14 June 2013). "Preventive drug could reduce HIV transmission among injecting drug users". The Conversation Australia; the Conversation Media Group. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  9. ^ a b Laopaisarntaksin, Pawat (2012-07-12). "Cancer-causing chemical residues found in vegetables". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  10. ^ http://www.biothai.org/node/302
  11. ^ a b Yee, Tan Hui (12 November 2016). "Antibiotic abuse killing thousands in Thailand". Straits Times. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Thailand joins global 'superbug' fight". Bangkok Post. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  13. ^ Editor4 (1 December 2016). "Sex education strengthens sexual discrimination in Thailand". Prachatai English. Retrieved 4 December 2016.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ The Cost of Air Pollution: Strengthening the Economic Case for Action (PDF). Washington DC: World Bank and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. 2016. p. 101. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  15. ^ Buakamsri, Tara (8 December 2016). "Our silent killer, taking a toll on millions" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 8 December 2016.