Author: Batjargal, J. Baljmaa, B.; Ganzorig, D.; Solongo, A.; Tsetsgee, P
The survey is based on a considerably detailed, new information about the current status of child care in Mongolia, which have not been studied and determined previously at the national level. Therefore, it is certain that the survey can give a systematic and solidly-based response to many priority issues. In order to evaluate the current care practices for women and young children, and analyze its resources, we conducted this qualitative survey. Suggestions and recommendations made on the survey result will improve the care provided to women and children of young age with full family and community participation, and will exert important influence in the full utilization of resources.
The main goal of the survey was to analyze the caring practices for their young age children among Mongolian mothers. The specific objectives of the survey are:
Information was collected through a combination of three methods: in-depth interview, focus group discussion and observation. In-depth interviews were conducted with 150 mothers with small children (under 6 years old). Focus group discussions were held with 147 mothers with children under 6 years and with similar socio-economic status. Attempts were made to observe their psychological and behavioral practice and attitude on environmental hygiene, food safety and hygiene and child-care.
Considering geographical location and economical regions, 5 aimags, Arkhangai, Dundgobi, Uvurkhangai, Zavkhan, Sukhbaatar aimags and Ulaanbaatar city, which could represent regions, were selected to be involved in the survey. From the total soums of the selected aimags, soums to be involved in the survey were selected randomly. Basing on population registration made by family doctors in soum and/or district health centers, the survey team leaders, by using a combination of random and target selection method, selected districts, town-districts, baghs and mothers.
Findings and Conclusions
Resulting from the high literacy rate among the Mongolians, the level of health education among women is relatively high. They have the correct knowledge and attitude about: the child's developmental milestones, the importance of breastfeeding and child's growth monitoring, active complementary feeding, preventing children from falling ill and being injured, know signs of child's illness at home, providing primary health care, take actions when child's growth is retarded, the effect of diet during pregnancy and lactation on child health.
Women who earn money and have higher education have a relatively high capacity to make decisions. Although Mongolian women are facing many upsetting issues, they are generously dedicating their time, knowledge and skills for their family and children.
In a family where the mother is employed and who are living in soums, fathers are playing an important role in child care. Men provide good physical and emotional care to their wives when they are pregnant or lactating as well as relieving them from doing any domestic hard work.
There are a considerable number of women who manage their family's finances. This provides them the opportunity to utilize and coordinate the resource for the well-being of their children. As the level of education in young women and women of any age is increasing, their financial competence is increasing too.
Provision of antenatal and maternity allowances from the government is having a positive impact in child care resources. But, in order to earn money, women are working as well. Compared with men, they spend many hours in domestic work, which leads them to spend little time to care for their children. This is independent of selected indicators such as women's employment, education level and household location.
Grandparents, siblings and relatives are participating actively in child care. In the rural area, adults with life experiences, such as fathers and grandparents, play an important role. This is contributing to opportunities to deal with more responsibility in child care.
At the national level, implementation of programs such as Breastfeeding and Growth Promotion, fighting against iodine deficiency, IMCI, National Immunization and the Community Health are contributing valuably to child care. The establishment of Baby Friendly Hospitals, a health care system relying on the community in many numbers, especially organizes and decides child care issues within the community. Likewise, NGOs are contributing to child care activities.
Spread the tradition of paying particular attention and providing care to women during pregnancy and lactation from their family and husband, and advertise to men to continue providing these support and care to children, at least until they are 2 years old.
Increase the name and type of traditional complementary food for young children, take actions to teach care takers to enrich energy and nutrient values of diet with locally available food products by expanding information, education and communication for care takers.
Avoid some traditional methods directed towards preventing injuries harmful to child health; explain and inform the harm of some traditional methods directed towards preventing some injuries harmful to children's health.
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ECD - Family & Community Practices
Ministry of Health, Mongolia