Thailand’s population of teen mothers rising, pregnancy age falling

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BANGKOK, Jan 16 – An average 370 babies are born daily from Thai teenage mothers and about 10 babies from girls below age 15 years old, the Public Health Ministry reported today.

Public Health Minister Cholanan Srikaew told of the increasing trend of teen pregnancies at younger ages, about 15-16 years, and only 55 per cent of teenagers use condoms during their first-time sexual intercourse.

The majority of teens fail to use contraceptive devices or use them incorrectly while many misunderstand that first-time sex does not lead to pregnancy, he said.

According to 2011 statistics, 53 per cent of pregnant women seeking 30 per cent were students. More than 80 per cent were unwanted pregnancies.

Dr Cholanan said the Public Health Ministry is working with related agencies in implementing the National Fertility Health Plan (2010-2014) – the first of its kind of Thailand – with the objective discouraging unprepared pregnancies, promoting closer relationships in families and providing sex education to students.