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Eighty Children Die Of Aids Due To Tainted Blood, Dirty Needles In Southern Kazakhstan

The death toll of HIV-infected children in South Kazakhstan has reached 80 with the recent death //of a 5-year old boy in Sairam district – said the officials and non-governmental groups. It is believed that the five-year-old boy had a severe inborn cardiac defect, which caused the death.

Chief physician of the regional HIV/ AIDS prevention and treatment center, Natalia Babina told the press persons on Monday that a child infected with HIV was registered in Turkestan, but "he has nothing to do with the regional children's hospital where the infection outbreak started." Another HIV-infected child has died, Babina said.

HIV-contaminated blood transfusion, as medical personnel were allegedly reusing disposable equipment in children's hospitals is believed to be cause for the outbreak, which was first reported a few months ago.

Meanwhile, the Kazakh Senate has ratified an agreement on creating a Central Asian AIDS control center in Almaty. President Nursultan Nazarbaev had signed the agreement in September and the two main sponsors of this project were World Bank and the Britain's Department for International Development.

The investigation still continues and the Authorities are testing some of the children and their mothers who they fear, might have contracted the virus through blood transfusion, as medical personnel were allegedly reusing disposable equipments.

Nationwide inspections have revealed numerous cases of incompetence and corruption among doctors and nurses that has resulted in the dismissal of Health Minister Yerbolat Dosayev and South Kazakhstan administration chief Bolat Zhylkyshiyev following the incident.

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