Leading Causes Of Death In Thailand

Thai fishermen often catch fish infected with the Southeast Asian liver fluke that is capable of causing cancer when undercooked or raw fish is consumed.
Thai fishermen often catch fish infected with the Southeast Asian liver fluke that is capable of causing cancer when undercooked or raw fish is consumed.

The Ministry of Public Health of Thailand and CDC had been working together for some 30 years now and as a result, developed intervention strategies and new illness prevention methods to help fight against high-risk diseases. Healthcare access in Thailand is not that difficult with per capita income of about $7,640 USD. Longer life expectancy at birth have been achieved through the decades with women reaching 77 years and men at 70 years. Although infant mortality rate is at 12 per 1000 live births. Yet, among the population of about 69,892,000 people, quite a number of diseases still persists as the leading causes of death.

Thailand’s Scourge


Thailand has been hit recently with the cancer scourge elevating that illness as the leading cause of death in that country. Although several types of cancer could be prevented by national campaigns on health by introducing programs that make people aware about the risks of smoking tobacco and the consumption of raw fish that lead to a type of stomach cancer. Breast and cervical cancers can also be cured by early intervention.

Ischemic Heart Disease And Stroke

Cancer (19%) is the leading cause of death in Thailand, followed by Ischemic (12%) heart disease and stroke (10%). Ischemic heart disease and stroke are related illnesses that result from arterial blockages curtailing blood supply to the brain. Obesity, smoking, and atherosclerosis are often seen as the culprit in heart diseases. The problem of foreign fastfood chains entering the Thai market has also increased obesity among the population. The use of palm and coconut oil in cooking street food is another concern which many patronize in Thailand.

Other Leading Causes Of Death

Lower Respiratory Infections (9%) include acute bronchitis and lung abscess while Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (4%) includes emphysema, refractory asthma, and bronchiectasis. These two conditions are two other illnesses that hit the population at a high level. Other major causes of deaths in Thailand are HIV at 4%, Diabetes at 4%, Road Injuries at 4%, Chronic Kidney Disease at 2%, and Cirrhosis at 2%.

Healthcare Accessibility In Thailand

The Ministry of Public Health has established a universal health care program in the country since 2002 that has increased public health expenditure in 2009, accounting for 4.3% of its GDP. The 2002 healthcare system has three programs: one for civil service employees under the Civil Service Welfare System, another for private employees under the Social Security System, and a third for all Thai nationals under the Universal Coverage Scheme.

Public healthcare in Thailand is taken care by the public sector. Healthcare can be accessed in about 1,002 hospitals and 9,675 health stations. Private hospitals also may participate under this program. The success of this program has been noticed by the World Bank with a report that with this 2002 healthcare scheme, public healthcare coverage is accessible to about 99.5% of the people. Public revenues account for majority of financing this program.

Although the Thai government has been successful in training doctors and nurses for rural assignments, the recent population increase has proved the new qualified health personnels are still inadequate compared to the rural needs of the country. Some of the additional healthcare personnel are midwives and sanitarians who have not been well received by the rural folks. In this light, they need support from qualified doctors and nurses to better serve the rural folks.

Leading Causes Of Death In Thailand

RankCause of Death% Of Total Deaths
1Cancer 19%
2Ischemic Heart Disease 12%
3Stroke 10%
4Lower Respiratory Infections9%
6Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease4%
8Road Injuries4%
9Chronic Kidney Disease2%

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