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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Kazakhstan Faces Uphill Battle Against TB

February 9, 2000
Fox News Online (02/09/00)

Kazakhstan is struggling with an increasing rate of tuberculosis (TB), as poverty and crowded prisons help the bacterium to spread. Last year, the TB rate in the country was 18 percent higher than in 1998, according Shakhimurat Ismailov, director of the National Tuberculosis Center; although, the rate of growth between 1997 and 1998 was 30 percent. Ismailov said that small improvements were seen last year following the implementation of a new system to better diagnose and treat TB, although the central causes of the disease have yet to be addressed and the divide between the rich and poor continues to grow. He noted that the Aral Sea is shrinking and clean water is harder to find, while bulging prisons allow TB to breed rapidly, with 50 to 60 people in a cell meant for 15 to 20 inmates.