Valentine: Thai govt hands out ‘magic pills’ to promote birth rate

Couple
Picture of a couple

The Thai government on Tuesday handed out “magical vitamins” to couples registering their marriages in a bid to boost the birth rate, while granting marriage certificates made from gold to a lucky few.

The public health ministry was handing out 600 packages of iron and folic acid supplements, dubbed “magical vitamins” by the authorities, to couples registering their marriages in Bangrak district in Bangkok.

“Women planning to get pregnant should consume iron and folic acid at least once a week for 12 weeks,’’ Vachira Pengjan, director-general of the health department, said.

According to Vachira, Thai women have been getting married less often and at a later age over the last few decades, causing the population growth rate to slump from 2.7 per cent in 1970 to 0.4 per cent 2015.

“The supplements have also been distributed in hospitals across the country,’’ the health department said, with a total of 6 million pills given out.

Thousands of Thais get hitched on Valentine’s Day each year at a government office in Bangrak district.

Report says the district is popular for weddings as its name incorporates the word “rak,” which means “love” in Thai.

Also in Bangrak district, Bangkok City Hall gave away marriage certificates made from gold, each worth 20,000 baht (572 dollars), to 10 lucky couples drawn at random.

“Families are a very important part of society,” Peerapong Saicheu, deputy governor of Bangkok said.

Among other Valentine’s Day initiatives to promote marriage this year are wedding ceremonies on hot-air-balloon rides in Chiang Rai province and scuba-diving weddings in Trang province.

(dpa/NAN)

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