World Population Day: For A Healthier Future for Everyone

World population day is a global event celebrated on 11th July which aims at creating awareness about the urgent population related issues and their influence on health and well-being. This day emphasizes the need for considering health determinants and sustainable practices in order to guarantee a healthier future for all.

Thai Health Promotion Foundation: Advocacy for Population-Based Health Promotion

Our vision at Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) is that all people living in Thailand have the ability and opportunity to live in a society and environment that promotes good health. Established in 2001, ThaiHealth has been leading the way in health promotion through innovative approaches aimed at improving health outcomes and fostering a healthier society.

Our Mission and Principles

With the small annual budget that accounts only 1.8% of national health expense, ThaiHealth is guided by the principle of “population-based health promotion,” to focus on two main objectives:

  1. Encouraging individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles.
  2. Building an environment that supports and enhances well-being.

Encouraging Healthier Lifestyles

ThaiHealth employs a multi-faceted approach to encourage healthier lifestyles among the population. Our initiatives are aimed at reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and promoting mental and physical health through various programs and campaigns. For instance, our efforts in tobacco and alcohol control have significantly reduced smoking rates and alcohol consumption in Thailand​​ . Additionally, we have championed physical activity and healthy eating through national plans and local initiatives​​ .

Building a Supportive Environment

Creating an environment conducive to good health is central to our mission. This involves advocating for policies that support health promotion, fostering partnerships across sectors, and ensuring sustainable funding for health initiatives. ThaiHealth’s funding model, which leverages excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, ensures a steady and reliable source of income for our health programs​​. This financial mechanism has allowed us to support a wide range of health promotion activities, from road safety campaigns to community health initiatives​.

Achievements and Impact

Over the years, ThaiHealth has achieved numerous milestones in health promotion. Our comprehensive strategies have led to significant public health improvements, showcasing the effectiveness of our population-based approach and the importance of multi-sectoral collaboration. Here are some of our notable achievements:

  1. Reduction in Smoking Rates:
    • Smoking prevalence decreased from 25.47% in 2001 to 19.94% in 2013, thanks to initiatives like the increase in tobacco excise tax and the introduction of pictorial warnings covering 85% of cigarette packets .
    • Further efforts, such as anti-smoking media campaigns and expanding smoke-free zones, have contributed to this decline.
  2. Alcohol Control:
    • Between 2006 and 2011, average pure alcohol consumption among adults decreased by 13% . The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act of 2008 played a crucial role, introducing comprehensive measures to regulate alcohol consumption.
    • Programs like the Alcohol-free Buddhist Lent Period, which saw a 20.7% reduction in drunk driving accidents, highlight innovative approaches to alcohol control .
  3. Promotion of Physical Activity:
    • ThaiHealth has actively supported the development and implementation of national physical activity plans, significantly increasing public participation in physical exercise and promoting healthier lifestyles .
  4. Reduction in Road Traffic Fatalities:
    • From 2011 to 2021, road traffic fatalities decreased from 21,996 to 16,957 . Investments in road safety have yielded the highest return, showcasing the impact of strategic health promotion investments.
  5. Policy Advocacy and Legislative Support:
    • ThaiHealth has been instrumental in advocating for and supporting the implementation of various health-related policies and laws, including those targeting NCD risk factors and promoting healthier food options.

These achievements underscore ThaiHealth’s commitment to fostering a healthier society through innovative, multi-sectoral strategies and partnerships. We continue to strive towards our vision of a healthy Thailand, ensuring that our initiatives remain effective and impactful.

As we celebrate World Population Day, we reaffirm our dedication to promoting health and well-being across all population groups in Thailand. ThaiHealth will continue to innovate, collaborate, and lead efforts in health promotion, ensuring that everyone in Thailand can live healthier, more fulfilling wellbeing.

Happy World Population Day!

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