Trial opens in Kazakhstan over child HIV infections
ALMATY Jan 19 (Reuters) - Twenty-one Kazakh doctors and officials went on trial on Friday over their suspected role in the accidental infection of dozens of children with HIV in the south of the Central Asian country.
At least eight children died last year in the Kazakh region of Shymkent after receiving transfusions of blood suspected of containing the virus. More than 80 other children, including some of their mothers, were infected.
An investigation into the incident gave no clear explanation why the blood transfusions affected only children.
The 21 officials are accused of negligence, embezzlement, receiving bribes and other crimes not directly linked to the cause of children's deaths.
The trial, which is closed to the media and general public, is expected to last at least a month, a Shymkent court spokesman said.
The scandal highlighted concerns about the crumbling Soviet-era health system in Kazakhstan, a rapidly growing oil producer with a booming economy.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev fired the health minister and Shymkent's governor over the incident.
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