Children in Thailand's Northeast and South have been found more underweight and stunted than children in other regions, according to a survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO) and Unicef.
The survey also found that 16 per cent of children under five years old in Thailand are too short for their age and nine per cent are underweight.
About seven per cent of children are too thin for their height and children from the poorest households have higher rates of stunting and of being underweight than those from the richest households.
NSO’s Deputy Director General Rajana Netsaengthip said data from the survey were collected from 27,000 households nationwide between September and November 2012.
For the first time, tablet PCs were used by the NSO in the data collection process, allowing the NSO to have reliable data and better monitor its quality during both collection and processing.
Other findings included:
Only 12 per cent of infants under the age of 6 months are exclusively breastfed. In Bangkok and central region, the exclusive breastfeeding rate is only 8 per cent, which is lower than other regions.
The adolescent birth rate of women aged 15-19 is high at 60 births per 1,000 women. In terms of contraception usage, about 79 per cent of women aged 1549 years currently married or in union are using a contraceptive method. Contraceptive usage is lowest among women in the southern region.
About 43 per cent of children are living in households that have at least three children’s books, with the lowest percentage in the Northeast at 34 per cent.
About 98 per cent of women aged 15-24 are literate. Only 48 per cent of women living in households with nonThai speakers are literate. There are no significant differences in their level of literacy in terms of where they live, their age or their socioeconomic status.
About 3 per cent of women aged 1549 were married before the age of 15. About 15 per cent of women aged 15-19 are currently married or in union, with the percentage highest in the poorest households (23 per cent), in nonmunicipal areas (19 per cent) in the northeast region (18 per cent) and among women with only primary school education (59 per cent).
About 13.1 per cent of women aged 15-49 believe their husband/partner has the right to hit or beat them for neglecting their children (10.8 per cent), going out without telling their husband (4.3 per cent), when they argue with their husband (2 per cent), when they refuse to have sex with their husband (2 per cent) or when they burn food (1 per cent). Domestic violence is more accepted by women in the Northeast (19.8 per cent),