Mr. Mechai  Viravaidya

Mr. Mechai Viravaidya

2009 in Public Health

Mr. Mechai Viravaidya founded the Community-based Family Planning Services in 1974, currently known as the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), to provide family planning education for the rural women. His tireless proponent of the use of condom to prevent pregnancy through the unique communication campaigns has demystified condoms, previously the taboo subject and unspoken issue in the public to become commonly-use item. He is known as Mr. Condom and condoms are commonly referred to by his name.

His work is essential in awakening the government and civic society to address this issue. The widespread use of condoms also helps controlling the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. When the HIV epidemics hit Thailand and other countries in 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Mechai played major role in developing national HIV communication and prevention campaigns that have a number of important elements, including behavioral change promotions and the support of the 100% Condom Use Programme. The success of Thailand in controlling spread of HIV is an example in international public health arena.

Mr. Mechai’s pioneering work in demystifying and advocating the use of condoms has impacts on the health of several hundred million lives around the world.