Education minister offers innovative New Year gifts to Thais

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation marks the arrival of 2020 by offering innovative New Year gifts designed to improve the quality of life of the Thai people. Under the scheme, the ministry is offering underprivileged diabetics 10,000 free coupons via 14 hospitals nationwide, special prices for dental implants and prosthetic  legs for the disabled. In addition, DustBoy monitors have been installed in 500 hospitals and schools throughout the country to measure “code-red” levels of PM2.5/PM10 and young Thais are invited to enjoy stargazing and free admission to museums under the ministry.

Dr. Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, said these innovations are being offered to Thais to help improve quality of life and reduce inequality. Meanwhile, the ministry allows youth and members of the Thai public to visit the museums and institutes under the supervision of the ministry free of charge to encourage learning outside the classroom and also build a foundation for the country’s future development.

The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) under the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation, gave out 10,000 coupons as New Year gifts to welfare-card holding underprivileged suffering from diabetes through the 14 hospitals listed below that provide bioplasma services, a procedure to treat diabetic ulcers and chronic wounds.

Central Region: Siriraj Hospital, Vajira Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospital, Ban Phaeo Hospital, Rajavithi hospital, Chonpratan Hospital, Phramongkutklao Hospital and Saraburi Hospital
Northern Region: Mae Fah Luang Medical Center and Nakornping Hospital
Northeastern Region: Sisaket Hospital
Eastern Region: Watyansangwararam Hospital
Southern Region: Vachira Phuket Hospital, Songklanagarind Hospital      
TCELS also helps the underprivileged by offering special prices for 4,000 dental implants. Dental implants are very expensive with a single tooth costing between 50,000 and 100,000 baht, prices the majority of Thais simply cannot afford.

For more information or to apply for dental implant service, register at between 6 January and 28 February 2020
The National Research Council of Thailand, meanwhile, is coming to the assistance of the disabled through its “New moves with  prosthetic leg innovations” project via tambon health promoting hospitals nationwide. The project provides innovative S-Pace dynamic prosthetic legs made from carbon fiber. The prostheses have been certified with ISO10328 and are durable, strong and light. Another innovation are low-cost, locally made silicone liners for below knee amputees. Perfect for hygienic stump care, these are made from Room-Temperature-Vulcanizing silicone similar to that used for food hygiene and will surely improve quality of life of disabled.

Furthermore, the council has placed 500 DustBoy monitors in 500 hospitals and schools to measure PM2.5 and PM10 through a sensor system that connects data through the smart network architecture. The Dustboy, which provides real-time air quality readings, will help warn people in areas with severe air pollution, allowing them to prepare adequately to face the haze. It can also monitor pollution levels from factories and vehicles and measures PM2.5 and PM10 with a light scattering technique.

Dr. Suvit said that in addition to the disabled, the ministry also provided innovations for farmers and the public to help reduce inequality and improve quality of life through 3 applications that can be downloaded for free.

1. The Choakaset application is designed to assist farmers plan their cultivation. It gives advice on the crop calendar and the right and appropriate farm production methods including management of water, fertilizer and pesticide. The aim is to help the farmers get higher yields and income.

2. The Traffy foudue application is a channel for petitioning via mobile phones. The farmers can send pictures to identify locations and types of problems. Then, the system would promptly pass on the petition to the state officials concerned.

3 Traffy Waste application is a smart waste bin management system to help manage and plan trash collection and gives routes and schedules of trash collection at each spot. GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) would be placed on garbage collection vehicles to measure the fill levels in the trash bins, thus enhancing waste management efficiency. The public can also notify the authorities of  overflowing bins and scattered garbage through the application.

For young people, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) is introducing free stargazing activity "NARIT Public Night" every Saturday between 6.00pm-10.00pm at the Laboratory, Princess Sirindhorn Astropark in Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai from now until May 2020. The young people can learn about the night sky by looking through various types of telescope, find out how to use star mapping and simply to stargaze with naked eye and identify interesting constellations.

The NARIT is also organizing the NARIT AstroFest 2020 to celebrate the official grand opening of the Princess Sirindhorn Astropark from 28 January - 2 February 2020 allowing visitors to enjoy a variety of astronomy-related activities.

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization) or GISTDA, meanwhile, invites the public to visit Space Inspirium free of charge from now until 11 January 2020 and learn more about the universe, space and geo-informatics technology. GISTDA recently launched the Rama 9 Museum, the latest and best ecosystem and environmental museum in ASEAN. It is located in the National Science Museum, Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road, in Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani.

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