Areas of Work

The WHO Country Office’s fifth Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2017–2021 is our strategic vision for the organization’s work with the Royal Thai Government and its partners. The CCS in Thailand is a strategic, innovative and unique approach to partnership – more than 60 stakeholders including the Ministry of Public Health, academia, civil society, other sectors and government autonomous health agencies all come together to work on a limited number of clear priorities based on evidence. In this CCS, WHO uses its social and intellectual capital to catalyze broader collaboration across sectors.

This CCS focuses of the following five strategic priorities:

  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Global Health Diplomacy (including International Trade and Health)
  • Migrant Health
  • Noncommunicable Diseases
  • Road Safety

Through this CCS, the WHO Country Office for Thailand contributes to improving the health of all people living in Thailand, by bringing together the Ministry of Public Health, other ministries and a wide spectrum of partners to discuss critical health priorities and stimulate high-value policy work, knowledge generation, advocacy and capacity-building.

Antimicrobial resistance

The burden of AMR in Thailand has been estimated in 2010 to result in 3.24 million days of hospitalization and 38 481 deaths per annum, and to cost 0.6% of national GDP. The Thai National Strategic Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017–2021), which aims to reduce morbidity, mortality and the economic impact of AMR, was endorsed by the Cabinet in late 2016. The plan sets targets for a 50% reduction in AMR morbidity; 20% and 30% reductions in antimicrobial use in human and animal respectively, and a 20% increase in public knowledge about AMR, including awareness of appropriate use of antimicrobials. The CCS programme aims to support execution of the Plan, including arrangements for monitoring and evaluation, and to strengthen evidence-based implementation.

Global health diplomacy & International trade and health

To effectively manage the major challenges in global health that affect health of the population requires national capacities in both health system delivery and global health diplomacy (GHD). Therefore, the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have developed a National Global Health Strategic Framework (2016–2020) (GHS). The strategies aim to ensure health security for Thai people and to sustain and further strengthen global health capacity in Thailand. The GHD programme will generate evidence to guide effective implementation of the national GHS.

With the increase of regional and bilateral trade, the direction of trade agreements and policies has changed, and they increasingly impact health. The focus of international trade has shifted to issues such as intellectual property, government procurement, competitive laws, labour, environment and state-owned enterprises. The scope of trade is no longer confined to export and import of goods and services, but expanded to cover systems or situations that are related to trade such as access to technology/medicine and medicine pricing systems. Balancing international trade and health is important at the global and national policy levels. For example, Sustainable Development Goal 3.b focuses on TRIPS flexibility to ensure access to affordable essential medicine; and at the country level, the Thailand Global Health Strategy includes international trade policy that balances trade and health benefits as one of the key issues of the Strategy. Apart from being a member of a multilateral WTO trade agreement, Thailand has signed 12 regional and bilateral free trade agreements and is negotiating another five. Optimizing the health and other benefits from these agreements is the goal.

Migrant health

Thailand has an estimated 3-4 million migrants who are believed to contribute more than 6% of national GDP. In Thailand, the provision of health services to migrants builds on the success of providing universal health coverage for the Thai population. Important drivers for this work include human rights and health security concerns, as well as the need to maintain a healthy workforce.

Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—mainly heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease—are the predominant killers in Thailand. All of the NCDs share certain behavioral risk factors, such as tobacco use, insufficient physical activity, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diet (excessive salt, sugar and saturated fat) as well as metabolic risk factors, namely raised blood pressure, overweight/obesity, raised cholesterol and raised blood sugar. NCD risk factors are common in the Thai population: one out of four Thai adults has high blood pressure; one out of 10 has raised blood sugar; 40% of adult males smoke; consumption of salt and sugar among Thais exceeds recommended limits; and rates of adult and childhood obesity have dramatically increased in the past decade. To combat NCDs and risk factors, Thailand has adopted nine national targets in line with the global targets.

Road safety

According to the Third Global Status Report on Road Safety, Thailand has the second highest road traffic fatality rate in the world. Vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists make up 83% of the all of these deaths. Thailand is a signatory to Decade of Action for Road Safety and has a national plan in place. Despite this, the country has seen minimal decrease in road traffic mortalities, from 38.1 per 100 000 population in the Second Global Status Report on Road Safety (2013) to 36.2 in the Third report (2015).

Other areas of work of WHO Country office for Thailand are:

Malaria Elimination Programme

The Ministry of Public Health Thailand, via the Department of Disease Control and the Bureau of Vector Borne Disease (BVBD), has developed a 4 pronged Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-2026 with the vision that Thailand will be malaria free by 2024. An operational plan FY 2017 – 2021 is in implementation. This effort embraces integration of work and resources among all related sectors, such as Local Administration Organizations, Health Promotion Hospitals, private health facilities, and civil society organizations to position malaria elimination as a part of the general health services and to be in line with the 20-year National Strategic Framework (2017-2036). More information on malaria elimination and eliminating malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

HIV, TB and Hepatitis

WHO Thailand Country Office (WCO THA) provides consolidated support to the Department of Disease Control and other stakeholders within the MoPH on HIV, TB and Hepatitis as part of SDG 3.3. Thailand is a high burden country for all three diseases. While the HIV and TB programmes are well established, the Hepatitis Control programme is nascent and WHO works in close collaboration with all three programmes to ensure that Thailand is on the right path to Ending all three diseases. Apart from providing normative guidance on prevention, care and treatment of these three diseases, WCO THA is engaged in providing programme support to End AIDS, TB and Hepatitis by 2030 by engaging with wide variety of stakeholders including civil society organizations, academia and health insurance agencies. In addition, WHO CO provides direct support to the implementation of Global Fund supported investment in HIV and TB – as part of the Country Coordinating Mechanism and participation in oversight functions. WCO THA also supports grant application and negotiation processes.

Health Impacts of Climate and Environmental Change

Environmental health is a cross-cutting issue that involves various authorities therefore Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in collaboration with Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) developed the third National Environmental Health Strategic Plan (2017-2021) with inputs from all relevant authorities. The plan provides a framework and directions on environmental health management for all concerned authorities to develop harmonized action plans for supporting country’s sustainable development and healthy population.

WHO Country Cooperation Strategy Thailand 2017-2021

The fifth Country Cooperation Strategy (‎‎‎CCS)‎‎‎ 2017–2021 is WHO's strategic vision for the organization's work with the Royal Thai Government and its partners.

Contact details

World Health Organization
Country Office for Thailand
4th Fl.,Permanent Secretary Bld 3
Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi
Tel: +6625470100, Fax: +6625918199