Health situation of Akha Hill Tribe in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

Main Article Content

Tawatchai Apidechkul
Pilasinee Wongnuch
Siriyaporn Sittisarn
Thapakorn Ruanjai


Akha  is  one  of  six  main  hill  tribe  groups  living  in  northern  Thailand,  and  approximately  150,000  persons  in 2014. This study was to assess the Akha population health status who lived in Chiang Rai province. A cross-sectional study design was applied.  Totally,  550  participants  were  recruited  into  the  study  by  a  cluster  sampling  from  20 of  243  Akha  villages  from  Chiang  Rai  Province,  Thailand.  Participants were grouped into 8 aged clusters; 0-1 year old,  1-5  years  old,  6-12  years  old,  males  aged  13-25  years  old,  females  aged  13-44  years  old,  males  aged  26-60 years  old,  females  aged  45-60  years  old,  and  aged  ≥  60  years  old.  Data  were  obtained  by  validated  questionnaires which  included  general  information,  history  of  vaccination,  child  development  assessment,  child  and mother  health assessment,  and  family planning,  etc.

Results showed among chlidren aged < 1 year old; 30.0% received Measle Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, 70.0% received the 3rd dose of Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis/ Polio vaccine (DTP/OPV). Children aged 1-5 years old;  90.0%  gave  birth  at  home,  40.0%  received  the  5th  dose  of  DTP/OPV,  and  only  4.0%  had  been  assessed  health development regarding to the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) protocol Children aged 6-12 years old; 22.04% had health  development  assessment,  66.0%  had  dental  carries.  Men aged 13-25 years  old;  28.0%  smoked,  18.0%  drank alcohol and 26.0% used marijuana, 64.3% had sexual experience before aged 16 years old. Women aged 13-44 years old;  56.0%  were  illiterate,  50.0%  did  not  receive  antenatal  clinic  (ANC)  during  their  pregnancies,  64.3%  gave  birth at  home  by  un-trained  midwives,  7.1%  received  three  doses  of  Tetanus  Toxoid  (TT)  during  pregnancy,  12.5%  had been  screened  a  PAP  smear.  Men  aged  26-60  years  old;  78.0  %  were  illiterate,  28.0%  could  not  communicate  in Thai,  62.0%  smoked,  64.0%  drank  alcohol.  Women  aged  45-60  years  old;  92.0%  were  illiterate,  92.0%  could  not communicate  in  Thai,  84.0%  ate  raw  food.  Those  aged  ≥  60  years  old;  100.0%  were  illiterate  and  74.0%  could  not communicate in  Thai.

Akha  people  in  Thailand  are  having  many  risk  behaviors  and  difficulty  accessing  health  care  due  to  language barrier. There is an urgent need to develop a proper health promotion program to reduce susceptibility to diseases.

Article Details

How to Cite
Apidechkul T, Wongnuch P, Sittisarn S, Ruanjai T. Health situation of Akha Hill Tribe in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. J Public Hlth Dev [Internet]. 2016 Sep. 9 [cited 2024 Apr. 19];14(1):77-9. Available from:
General Articles