Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mongolia Brief September 2, 2014 Part V



Caesarean section in Mongolia
September 2 (UB Post) Chimgee (name changed for privacy) is 34 and the mother of two children. Her first child was born when she was 28. Even though she did not face difficulty giving birth naturally, she underwent caesarean section (c-section) for her first pregnancy, according to her wishes and her doctor’s advice. The c-section was successful at that time.
Three years later, she got pregnant again and she preferred to give birth naturally but her doctor did not allow it. She was told that giving birth naturally was dangerous for her and the baby and there was no other choice but to get another c-section.
Currently, her two children are growing up healthy but she gets spontaneous backaches. She regrets having a c-section for her first pregnancy. Chimgee is one woman who suffers from health problems after a c-section and we cannot say how many more women are suffering as well.
There is a survey that shows that China is the leading country in its number of c-sections. It could suggest that Chinese women prefer getting c-sections. Another study presents data suggesting that in Russia, women prefer giving birth naturally and only private hospitals have the right to conduct c-section procedures according to the law.
All over the world, women are avoiding getting c-sections. The World Health Organization has started appealing to avoid getting c-sections because doctors have found that these kinds of operations can negatively and spontaneously influence a woman’s physical condition. Difficulty in birth for women who have previously had a c-section is three times more likely than for women who have not had one. Bleeding is common for women who have had a c-section and they often undergo rehabilitation to recover.
Have a look at how Mongolian women are affected by this issue, where policy to improve population growth is applied.
Mongolian maternity clinics adhere to MNS 5221:2002 standards in delivery services. A total of 3,723 mothers gave birth and 3,744 babies were born in the first quarter of this year at the First Clinical Maternity Hospital, and 28.9 percent of these women had c-section procedures. This percentage did not decline in May, June and July of this year.
A long time ago, c-sections were only provided in special cases, but now anyone who wants one is getting a c-section. The reason some women ask for a c-section is that they are afraid of dealing with pain during childbirth.
Doctors say that giving birth naturally is good for both the child and the mother, but getting a c-section takes time to heal and recover.
A child lives in water in the womb and its lungs are filled with water. When a mother gives birth naturally, through vaginal delivery, water in the lungs of the child is pushed out and they become ready to take their first breath. Delivery by c-section can cause difficulty in later pregnancies for a child’s respiratory health and other risks.
The most harmful thing about c-section is that only 40 percent of women who have had repeat c-sections are able to get pregnant again. The remaining 60 percent don’t have the chance to give birth later on.
Let’s say that 65,000 women give birth a year in Mongolia and over 20,000 of them have had a c-section. Twenty thousand mothers will give birth, but not naturally, so only 8,000 mothers have the chance to give birth again. If mothers still prefer having a c-section, Mongolia will be the same as China, who adheres to a one-child policy.
Also, it is not a secret that c-sections are becoming a business. C-section procedure fees are 800,000 MNT in state hospitals and 1.5 million to 2 million MNT in private hospitals. The state and relevant organizations have ignored this issue. Honestly, the relevant ministry at least has to educate mothers and make them understand the negative side of c-sections.
Why don’t mothers give birth naturally with the assistance of skillful doctors? There are many skillful and honored doctors who have been worked in this sector for a long time. So, if we think of our children, giving birth naturally is the best way in this society.
Source: Undesnii Shuudan.

How did Mongolia’s business community view the state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping?
September 2 (UB Post) August has been a very busy month for Mongolia, with a number of high profile delegations visiting from abroad, marking the 75th anniversary of the Khalhiin Gol victory, and, more importantly, the historic two-day state visit by President Xi Jinping of China.
The state visit, which occurred on the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Mongolia, saw the presidents of both countries issuing a “Joint Declaration” between China and Mongolia for establishing and developing a comprehensive strategic partnership, followed by the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation agreements in fields such as diplomacy, the economy, transportation, mineral products, infrastructure construction, finance, and culture.
Most of them were of the utmost importance for improving the conditions in Mongolia which are causing its current economic slow-down. To be more specific, during the state visit, the two countries reached an agreement that China is to give Mongolia better access to its ports and railways, in addition to setting a target of boosting annual trade between the two countries to 10 billion USD by 2020, up from just over 6 billion USD currently.
In 2013, trade with China accounted for 52 percent of Mongolia’s total foreign trade according to statistics from the Customs General Administration of Mongolia. Whereas, the 2014 Mongolia Investment Climate Statement by the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia reveals that 26 percent of total foreign direct investment in Mongolia to date is from China.
During and after President Xi’s visit, there were a number of interviews and analyses in Mongolian media by business people and commentators who expressed their opinions and expectations about the outcome and the importance of the state visit. For example, two representatives of Mongolia’s business community, U.Ganzorig, the President of Mongolian Financial Markets Association, and B.Dulguun, Executive Director of TenGer Capital LLC, a securities brokerage firm in Mongolia, were interviewed by Eagle TV, one of the major televisions in Mongolia. During the interview, they brought up some interesting points regarding the state visit.
In the interview, Ganzorig said, “the visit has clearly sent a message to the world that Mongolia is not dependent upon a single company called Rio Tinto and the country can continue to work with China in many ways.” He also highlighted the importance of signing an official agreement to facilitate a currency swap agreement between Mongolian and Chinese central banks. Ganzorig further cited Chinese support on the cross-border transit transportation issue which will allow Mongolia to overcome its landlocked country status and enable it to trade globally more effectively.
In Dulguun’s view, President Xi’s visit was very significant for Mongolia at a time of current economic slowdown in the country. Also, Dulguun added that China consumes 25 percent of all steel and 70 percent of all cement production globally. Therefore, if Mongolia takes this opportunity to produce these construction materials itself, there will be a huge market for these Mongolian produced construction materials in China.
The favorable transit transportation deal with China opens the door for Mongolia to reach out to international consumers. In return, China may use Mongolian railways to deliver its goods to European markets at favorable transportation costs via faster routes through politically stable territories, compared to routes through the Central Asian region. Simply put, there will be fewer difficulties for Chinese and Mongolian businesses to sort out in relation to transportation issues in each other’s territory.
In his recent article in a national daily newspaper, D.Jargalsaikhan, a prominent economist and TV show host, summarized President Xi’s visit and underlined Xi’s speech in front of the Mongolian Parliament, with respect to both sides’ promises to implement the bilateral cooperation agreements between the two countries. Moreover, Jargalsaikhan highlighted some points from Xi’s speech wherein the President reassured the parliament that China would always respect Mongolia’s chosen development model and would keep cooperating in every possible way for further nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship based on “win-win” principles between Mongolia and China.
Prior to Jargalsaikhan’s article in the newspaper, ikon.mn revealed a viewpoint from B.Batbayar, a retired politician and democratic ideologist known as Baabar, in which he emphasized the Chinese pledge of respecting Mongolia’s chosen development model. Baabar was confident that a pledge made by the President of China to buy Mongolian produced goods would definitely garner the attention of international investors and improve the outlook of those investors regarding Mongolia. However, Baabar noted, “How Mongolia prospers will be dependent upon whether or not Mongolians can grasp this opportunity and take advantage of it.”
All in all, the state visit of the President of China has been viewed positively by Mongolians at large, and the historically-based attitude of distrust and caution for each other has been put aside and replaced by the endeavors of both countries to seek and create mutually beneficial business opportunities. Hence, there is a lot of optimism and hope in the air for Mongolia’s business community regarding doing business with China, now and in the future.
Zulbayar Badral is the Executive Director for Lehman Bush LLC, which is a consultancy firm providing business consultancy, market intelligence, and corporate services. Lehman Bush LLC has affiliate offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Houston, USA. For more information, please visit. lehmanbush.mn. You can reach Mr. Zulbayar at Zbadral@lehmanbush.com and follow him via @ZulbayarB on Twitter.

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