Efforts against Ebola hurt anti-malaria campaign
West Africa's fight to contain Ebola has hampered the campaign against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that is claiming many thousands more lives than the dreaded virus.
In Gueckedou, near the village where Ebola first started killing people a year ago, doctors say they have had to stop pricking fingers to do blood tests for malaria. Guinea's drop in reported malaria cases this year by as much as 40 percent is not good news, said Bernard Nahlen, deputy director of the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative. He said the decrease is likely because people are too scared to go to health facilities and are not getting treated for malaria.
Malaria is caused by bites from infected mosquitoes while Ebola can be contracted only from the body fluids of an infected victim - hence doctors' fears of drawing blood to do malaria tests. People suffering malaria fear being quarantined in Ebola treatment centers and health centers not equipped to treat Ebola are turning away patients with Ebola-like symptoms, doctors said. - AP
Hamas halts children's visit
Gaza's Hamas rulers prevented a group of children from entering Israel on Sunday for a postwar conciliatory trip meant to foster peace, Hamas and organizers said. The 37 children, most of whom have lost a parent in fighting between Hamas and Israel, were to enter Israel on Sunday and spend a week visiting Jewish and Arab communities, a zoo, and travel to the West Bank for a meeting with the Palestinian Authority president. Hamas spokesman Eyad Bozum said the decision to bar the children's entry was made "to protect the culture of our children and our people" from normalizing relations with Israel. He said Hamas would make sure such a trip "will never happen again." - AP
Royal guards are relocated