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Thailand hands out prenatal vitamins for Valentine’s Day

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BANGKOK (AP) — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Thai government is handing out pills it calls “very magical vitamins” to prospective mothers to boost the country’s falling birthrate.

Thai officer give the pills are prenatal vitamins containing folic acid and iron to couples wait to sign their marriage certificates in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Thai government is distributing pills it calls “very magical vitamins” to prospective mothers boost the country’s falling birthrate. The pills are prenatal vitamins containing folic acid and iron and being handed out to women between the ages of 20-34. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thai officer give the pills are prenatal vitamins containing folic acid and iron to couples wait to sign their marriage certificates in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Thai government is distributing pills it calls “very magical vitamins” to prospective mothers boost the country’s falling birthrate. The pills are prenatal vitamins containing folic acid and iron and being handed out to women between the ages of 20-34. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Government employees took to the streets of Bangkok on Tuesday to distribute 1 million baht’s worth ($28,600) of prenatal vitamins containing folic acid and iron to women between the ages of 20 and 34.

The giveaway is part of a program called “the campaign for red-cheeked Thai women to have children for the country using very magical vitamins.”

Thai couples are getting married less often and later in their lives, meaning fewer children each year.

“The Thai way of life is changing,” said Dr. Wachira Pengjuntr, director of the Department of Health. “Thai women are receiving higher education and the newer generation are placing a higher value on being single.”

Thailand’s population grew only 0.4 percent in 2015, down from 2.7 percent in 1970. If this trend continues, the annual Thai population growth will be down to 0 percent in 10 years, Dr. Wachira said.

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