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Roses are red, vitamins for two? Thailand dishes out Valentine’s Day supplements to boost birth rate

Millette Burgos

By Millette Burgos+

15-Feb-2017
Last updated on 15-Feb-2017 at 05:00 GMT2017-02-15T05:00:32Z

The supplements aimed to encourage more births by providing women with the right nutrients. ©iStock
The supplements aimed to encourage more births by providing women with the right nutrients. ©iStock

While the rest of the world celebrated Valentine’s Day with hearts and flowers, the Thai government handed out “very magical” vitamin supplements to encourage prospective mothers to boost the country’s birth rate.

Packed in heart-shaped boxes, government employees went out to the streets of Bangkok and gave pre-natal vitamins with folic acid and iron to women between ages 20 to 34.

People’s diet in the past had more vegetables and fruits, unlike today’s fast-food set-up. The Valentine’s Day supplements aimed to encourage more births by providing women with the right nutrients.

Wachira Pengjuntr, Director-General of the Department of Health, told media that in 1970, a family would have an average of six children, compared to the current 1.6.

Thailand’s population grew only 0.4% in 2015, down from 2.7% in 1970. The government said the low birth rate is due to changing lifestyles, where more women are getting higher education, and placing more value on being single.

This trend also means fewer women get married, and those who do, are doing so later in their lives.

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