A major HIV outbreak has jolted the Central Asian nation, Kazakhstan.. Subsequent investigations conducted attribute the outbreak to incompetence and corruption among doctors and nurses.
The latest case is that of a woman hailing from Shymkent, whose infant child is already infected. The number of confirmed cases has risen to 9 mothers and 81 children. Natalia Babina, the chief physician of the regional AIDS centre, admits that, 'we have nine HIV-positive mothers'.
Health officials continue to check thousands of children who they fear might have contracted HIV at hospitals in Shymkent, a city about 1,600 kilometers (990 miles) south of the capital Astana.
It is not yet clear how the woman was infected, but it is believed to have resulted by blood transfusion from unchecked donors or contaminated needles. This is also the cause for infection in 81 children, most of them under the age of three, who tested positive for HIV in the past few weeks.
Seven children are reported to have died of AIDS-related diseases, officials said.