From EL Diario Exterior:
Todo empezó en abril de 1996 cuando una paciente con una “fiebre innominada” ingresó en un hospital en la provincia central de Henan en China donde trabajaba Gao. La mujer imploraba, “ịNo quiero morir! Mi esposo y mi hijo no pueden vivir sin mí”.
Falleció 10 días más tarde. Durante más de una semana, el marido de la mujer durmió junto a su tumba en un acto de contrición: Había aprobado una transfusión de sangre años antes mediante la cual Gao determinó que la mujer había contraído el SIDA.
“Estaba asombrada de descubrir que la sangre contaminada había provenido de un banco de sangre,” declaró Gao. “Si un banco de sangre ha sido contaminado con HIV, ịciertamente debe existir más de una sola victima!”
Estaba en lo correcto.
En los años 90, los bancos de sangre “no oficiales” florecieron y los campesinos chinos fueron alentados a vender su sangre a fin de recolectar el plasma. Las “clínicas”, en ocasiones dirigidas por políticos locales o militares, debían superar la renuencia de muchos campesinos a dar sangre. Así, se volvió normal reinyectar a los donantes con sangre desprovista de plasma que era extraída de un fondo general. Esa sangre no era examinada para ver si contenía SIDA.
Nadie sabe cuán difundido está el problema resultante.
[…] Según la revista The Economist, “Las Naciones Unidas estiman que a finales de 2005 existían 55.000 donantes comerciales de sangre y plasma infectados con HIV en China….Un experto chino en SIDA, Zhang Ke, informó en 2004 que la cifra para la provincia de Henan…podría ser más de 170.000. El Dr Zhang estimaba que unos 130.000 adicionales en Henan obtuvieron el virus de transfusiones en los hospitales”.
China has now, in these days a grave problem with AIDS. During the 1990’s flourished the blood banks in the countryside. Peasants did not like to give away their blood, but political and medical bodies wanted them to sell it in order to have more plasma. Then they injected repeatedly again the blood-with-no-plasma in the donor’s circulatory system. As these funds did not have any health control, and as the blood was reinjected after been mixed with all the other donors’ blood in a general fund, if one part of it was contaminated everything of it was.
This terrible secret has been discovered by an old woman, Gao Yaojie. This 80-years-old lady, is defying all the Communist Party whose leaders do not want China to meet another scandal in the eve of the Olympic Games.
But the scandal could be monstrous, and the Communist Party is practising a police of “good cop, bad cop“, harrasing her some times and praising her others. For example, she has been placed under house arrest some days to prevent her to go to New York to receive a prize. But the same days one of the leaders of the local Communist Party, stepped by and a photo was made of them both, photo that later was published in the local Communist Party newspaper. The reason? Next year Oympic Games, for obvious reasons.
According to Gao, everything began back in 1996 when a young woman was received in the hospital where Gao was working with “an unknown fever”. The woman began screaming that she did not want to die, because she had a husband and a son. Nothing could be done and the woman died 10 days later. The husband blamed himself because he had approved a blood transfusion several years before. Through the normal procedure, it was determined she had been infected by the blood in the fund.
So Gao says “a lot more people could be infected”.
And she was right. According to The Economist, “UN estimates that in the end of 2005 55.000 donors of blood and plasma were infected with AIDS in China… A Chinese expert in AIDS, Zhang Ke, informed in 2004 that only in the province of Henan…there could be more than 170.000. Dr Zhang estimated that another 130.000 in Henan obtained the virus through transfusions in the hospitals”.
Today NYT has published that 2 activists have been placed under house arest and barred from leaving China:
The police barred Hu Jia, 33, and his wife, Zeng Jinyan, 23, from departing from Beijing on a trip to Hong Kong and several European countries, Mr. Hu said. The couple had planned to call attention to what they described as a neglect of AIDS patients and to defend other Chinese campaigners for human rights who had been prosecuted in recent months.
Mr. Hu said the police told him that he and Ms. Zeng were suspected of “endangering national security” and would be required to stay in their home under police watch for an indefinite period.
“Officials are worried that we would set off opposition to Beijing’s hosting of the Olympics,” Mr. Hu said. State security officials almost never offer any information about their activities, but the city is the venue for the 2008 Summer Games and intends to use the event to present China as a sophisticated, modern country that is open to the outside world.
In another indication of the sensitivity of the Games to China, Yang Jiechi, the country’s new foreign minister, on Friday denounced efforts in the United States to link support for Beijing’s serving as host of the Olympics to its policies in Sudan.
China has been criticized for giving strong financial and diplomatic backing to the government of Sudan, which the Bush administration and critics worldwide say has practiced genocide in its southern Darfur region while waging a war against secessionists there. “There is a handful of people who are trying to politicize the Olympic Games,” Mr. Yang told reporters. “This is against the spirit of the Games. It also runs counter to the aspirations of all the people in the world.”
Other South-Asian news:
In a statement posted on its Web site, the central bank described the move as a natural progression in the country’s long-term goal of liberalizing its foreign currency market. “People’s Bank has enacted a series of policies to develop the foreign currency market,” the statement said. “At the same time, the Chinese economy has been developing rapidly and stably, financial reform has also made improvements.”
Well, that’s one take. The timing of these moves will hardly go unnoticed to skeptical China watchers. After all, Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi is leading a trade diplomatic mission to Washington beginning May 22. He’ll be meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to discuss trade imbalances, currency policy, intellectual property rights protection, and other issues that have turned relations acrimonious on economic matters.
More in FT.
China is resisting mounting pressure from the US banking industry for a speedy and substantial opening of its domestic brokerage industry, a sector that has become increasingly lucrative with the boom in China’s stock market.
US-NKorea: The United States said Wednesday it still expects implementation of the six-party agreement to end North Korea’s nuclear program despite a financial snag that has stalled the process. The deal has fallen more than a month behind schedule. VOA’s David Gollust reports from the State Department.
North and South Korea sent trains across their heavily fortified border on Thursday for the first time in half a century amid much fanfare and high hopes that the symbolic event would advance reconciliation in the divided peninsula.
The test run, seen as a milestone in inter-Korean relations, came seven years after the two sides agreed at a historic summit in 2000 on linking their railways, severed during the 1950-53 Korean war.
Two five-carriage trains, each carrying 100 South Koreans and 50 North Koreans, travelled slowly for about 25km on two sets of tracks, one between the South’s Munsan station and the North’s Kaesong station in the west of the peninsula, and the other between the South’s Jejin station and the North’s Kumgang station in the east.
Let’s hope this begins a new relationship between both Koreas, although I do not trust -not surprisingly- Kim Il Jong.
[Esta entrada está en español aquí]