The situation and problems for each group differs. For example, infants (newborns- age 5) may experience development that is not age-appropriate, such as, disability at birth, or malnutrition. These problems show a trend of increasing severity, which can affect the quality of life of Thai people in the long term. Despite, school-age children (ages 6-14) having the advantage to an education, they still face problems with unhealthy food consumption and malnutrition. Moreover, an urban society has caused Thai family structures and lifestyles to change. More members of the family are required to earn a living to sustain the family unit, with the proportion of families with two income earners on the rise. As a result, families are facing a decrease in family time and quality of family relationships.
A survey by the National Statistical Office from 2006 to 2012 showed a decreasing trend of children and youth living with their parents due to relocation to other provinces for work or as a result of divorce. A survey of how primary schoolchildren used their time from 2008 to 2012 found that children were more likely to spend time on the internet, at tutoring sessions, or at friend’s home instead of with their parents or senior relatives. The survey also found an increasing number of teenagers and youth (ages15-24), who were experiencing physical, mental, and emotional changes, and some developed inappropriate behaviors such as tobacco use (cigarettes), alcohol consumption, illicit substance use, and unsafe sexual intercourse.
Focus Areas of Plan
1) Emphasis will be placed on family health, and child health in each age group. Directions, targets, and strategies fall under a 10-year timeframe, and are directed toward work implementation according to ThaiHealth’s role in the Healthy Child, Youth, and Family Promotion Plan.
2) Offensive work implementation strategies to create leverage points and sustainability in existing systems, with cooperation from strategic partners and networks. Rapid and meaningful strategic communications are used to create social awareness about urgent and current issues.
3) Increase the value of academic output through analyses and syntheses of various forms, models, manuals, and other tools produced.
4) Support tertiary education institutions to develop research and academic work, and to link partnership networks for the development of children, youth, and families.
5) Setting work mechanisms under the Healthy Child, Youth, and Family Promotion Plan, and linking with networks in other plans and academic projects.
6) Promotion and development of family health, as the family is an important target group and an important institution for developing quality of life of populations in all age groups under existing plans. Joint targets have linked area-based work to ThaiHealth results, directions, and associated 10-year strategies.