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Thailand's healthcare revolution

20th March 2007

Thailand is now on track to meet the 4th millennium development goal by reducing childhood deaths by two-thirds by 2015.

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Economic development during the past decade showed a marked improvement in affordable healthcare in rural areas, family planning services and childhood vaccinations, say the authors of a study in The Lancet, cited by the British Medical Journal.

In 1990, 27 of each 1,000 children born in Thailand died before reaching their fifth birthday. By 2000, this figure had fallen by a third to just under 19, the study said.

Death rates fell fastest among the poor. The mortality gap between rich and poor closed by 50% over the 10 years from 1990-2000.

The emphasis on primary care in villages, including an increase in skilled birth attendants, was the key to this achievement, the study found.

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