In a village called Symkent in the southern part of Kazakhstan, 80 children have tested positive for HIV infection as a result of receiving contaminated blood transfusions. Eight have already died. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbaev has pledged to take urgent steps to combat this epidemic. One way he has chosen is to tap into the Hadassah Medical Center’s expertise.
Dr. Tatiana Guslizther, a member of Hadassah’s AIDS unit, agreed to go to Kazakhstan to help. Dr. Guslizther, originally from Russia, immigrated to Israel 16 years ago after graduating from medical school in Moscow. She completed her training in infectious diseases at Hadassah. Dr. Guslizther relates that the plan is to set up a center in Kazakhstan, built on the Ethiopian model developed by Prof. Shlomo Maayan, head of Hadassah’s AIDS Center. The model includes making site visits to the affected area, bringing local health professionals to Israel for training, and improving local laboratory services.