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Kazakhstan: Dramatic Increase in Hepatitis in Kazakhstan

Aqmola, 26 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - An alarming rise in viral hepatitis is reported in Aqmola, Kazakhstan's planned future capital. The Kazakhstanskaya Pravda daily today says the number of reported cases had nearly doubled among adults, and has more than tripled among children to 14 years of age. The percentage increase corresponds to the first eight months of 1996, as compared to the same time period last year.

The newspaper says generally unsanitary conditions are to blame for the increase in hepatitis, and specifically it cites frequent power outages, halting sewage-treatment plants, which then overflow into the general water supply. It also cites mounds of uncollected garbage in the streets.

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Aqmola this week, and said that by next year, the Ministries of Transport, Agriculture, Defence and Emergency Situations would move to Aqmola from Almaty.