NHSO to give free condoms and birth control to anyone over 15

PHOTO: The NHSO will give free condoms and birth control to young people. (via Lifestyles)

In a bold move for conservative Thailand, the National Health Security Office is providing free birth control pills and condoms to young people over the age of 15. A new programme by the NHSO is targeting teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in a bid to encourage safe sex, especially among Thai youth.

The Deputy Secretary-General of the NHSO said the programme will begin on February 1 when the government organisation will begin handing out free birth control pills. While the programme is targeted at teenagers and youth, the birth control pills will be provided to Thai women between the ages of 15 and 59 years old. Women can claim the benefit up to 13 boxes per year but can request up to 3 boxes of pills at a time.

Women will be able to collect the free birth control at facilities that are associated with the NHSO including medical clinics, private hospitals, pharmacies, nursing clinics, midwife clinics, and primary care units. The service is coordinated by the “Pao Tang” mobile application where users can click on the health wallet to schedule a location and date to pick up the pills. In the rare case of a teenager who is sexually active and not on a mobile device, a woman may present their ID in a participating venue to receive the benefit.

The programme also intends to make condoms free and readily available to promote safe sex, especially among young people in Thailand. The condom rollout is expected to launch in April and will provide 10 free condoms per week to anyone over the age of 15 who requests them. The service will be available every week so, in theory, a very active person could collect 520 condoms per year for free.

The condoms can be ordered by adding the NHSO’s account on the LINE app. Those wanting to collect their free condoms will then be able to scan a QR code at participating venues to confirm with the NHSO and receive the benefit. Service locations can be found on the NHSO’s website.

For those concerned, condoms will be available in 49-millimetre, 52-millimetre, 54-millimetre, and 56-millimetre sizes.

SOURCE: The Phuket News and Prachachat

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.