Poorest of the Poor

Multiple factors contribute to rural poverty along Thailand’s western border. Educational opportunities are limited, restricting employment options for many people in these communities. People also have little access both to health information and to health services, creating low awareness about preventive health measures and placing people at high risk for malnutrition, malaria, HIV/AIDS, pulmonary infections, skin conditions, and gastrointestinal diseases. Moreover, community members face several barriers to treatment, including prohibitive healthcare costs and transportation difficulties. Ill health compounds economic instability and contributes to the vulnerability of these populations.