1. DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania: Tanzania on high alert as two suspected cases of Ebola reported in NW region
Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is on high alert as the government is investigating two reported cases of suspected Ebola outbreak in the
country's northwestern regions near the border with Uganda where an Ebola outbreak has killed at least 16 people.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare Seif Suleiman Rashid told Xinhua from Dodoma, capital of the East African country, where
he has been attending the budget session that a team of doctors had been sent to the scene to investigate the reported suspected
cases.The two patients were admitted at Nyakahanga hospital in Karagwe district, Kagera Region, in western Tanzania, after they showed
symptoms of the deadly disease.
Andrew Charles, a doctor in charge at the hospital, told Xinhua on the phone that a six-year old boy was admitted to the hospital
after he was suspected of having symptoms of the disease.Blood samples of the child had been sent for laboratory testing in Dar es
Salaam, but the results were not yet released until Monday morning.Meanwhile, Dr Charles said that the admitted child was under the
intensive care unit and separated from the rest of the patients, adding that his condition was improving as of Sunday evening.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare alerted the public last Wednesday to take precautions following the outbreak of Ebola in the
neighboring Uganda and named five regions in the western part of the country to be on high alert.Ebola is a viral infection related to
HIV that is characterized by fever, body aches, rash, abdominal pain, and in most case violent hemorrhaging (bleeding from body
openings). Similar to HIV, Ebola is spread only through contact with bodily fluids.Death rates from previous outbreaks range from 50-
90 percent and there is no known cure or treatment except to treat the symptoms. (Xinhua)
2. KINSHASA, DR Congo: 7 DR Congo soldiers arrested for making "political demands"
Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Seven officers of the DR Congo Armed Forces (FARDC) who were based at Lukusa training camp in Orientale province,
were arrested on Saturday for expressing, in their letter, their displeasure over the non-implementation of the Goma Accord which was
signed on March 23, 2009.
"These soldiers expressed political sentiments whereas the army is supposed to be apolitical," the commander of FARDC's 9th brigade
Jean Claude Kifua said in a statement on Sunday.Kifua said that the officers who did not deny the accusations when they were
questioned, had written a letter to president Joseph Kabila and sent copies of the same letter to the United Nations, the UN Mission
for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO), the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), to demand the implementation of the Goma
agreement.He said that the seven officers included general Gasita Molindo Olivier, general Tabisanga Muswahili, general Biereco
Londeko Albert, major Tibasima Mugisha Moise, Mbage Kibirani Mangesto, Bahati Biamungu Justin and Bisimwa luaboshi Atina.
The March 23 agreement between the government and the armed groups was signed under the co-facilitation of the UN secretary general's
special envoy for the Great Lakes Region Olusegun Obasanjo and the AU's co-facilitator for the International Conference on the Great
Lakes Region, Benjamin William Mkapa.The objective of the agreement was to bring a rapid and long- lasting solution to the crisis
which had persisted for a long time in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), especially in the North and South Kivu
3. KAPENGURIA, Kenya: Pokot pastoralists resume male circumcision 60 years later to fight HIV/Aids
Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Pokot pastoralists in Kenya's northwest region have resumed male circumcision to tackle HIV/Aids after abandoning
the tradition five decades ago due to attacks on initiates by rival communities.
About 65,000 herders have been lined up for voluntarily male circumcision, local health authorities and an NGO said late Sunday.The
herders in Pokot North District abandoned the rite in 1950 after two deadly cross border attacks that left over 2,000 initiates dead
in the Alale and Orwolo areas. Kenya's Information and Communication Minister Samuel Poghisio, who hails from the Pokot community,
said the attacks executed by Turkana and Karamojong tribesmen forced local elders to order circumcision stopped. "The elders were
angered by attacks by the Karamojong at manyattas where circumcision rites had been conducted and without any provocation shot dead
hundreds initiates," said Poghisio."Again a year later armed Turkana raiders made a similar attack on Pokot homesteads, killing
several warriors. This prompted the elders to abandon the rite," the minister said.
Speaking during the launch of voluntarily male circumcision organized by Impact Research and Development Organization (IRDO), Poghisio
said the resumption of the rite will help address the spread of HIV/Aids in the area. "I flew in from London to support this
incentive. We are encouraged by NGO's action to extend their circumcision services to the district and it will help our people tackle
HIV/Aids infections," the minister said.He said Karamojong from Uganda and Turkana from Kenya took advantage of the circumcision
ceremonies to attack and kill initiates and steal cattle. "It had become an ability of the two communities to sneak into Pokot
manyattas to kill in order to prove their warriorism," said the lawmaker.
IRDO CEO Dr Kawango Agot said her organization had been picked and funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to
roll out the circumcision in the district.Agot said sensitization campaigns had been conducted in the district to create awareness and
lauded the residents for positive response."Our services were concentrated in Nyanza province and we moved to Turkana and Pokot North
after CDC engaged us to implement circumcision in the district to minimize the spread of HIV and Aids cases in the regions," said the
Agot said due to high mobility of the pastoralists it is important to get circumcised in order to check the scourge. Her organization,
she said has covered 14 districts in Nyanza and working with other partners extended the service to Teso in Busia county.The District
Aids Control Coordinator Leonard Apa Tolel said the HIV/Aids prevalence in the area stands at 3 percent and 1,500 people infected with
the scourge are currently on Ant retrieval drugs (ARVs). "In the past there has been a belief that it is unlikely for pastoralists to
be infected with HIV/Aids but the fact is that the disease has hit the area and measures are required to curb the problem," he said.
POKOT: A group of men from Pokot central District, Northern Kenya.(Xinhua/Crispinus Omar)
4. SRINAGAR, Kashmir: High temperature kills thousands of fish in Indian-controlled Kashmir
By Peerzada Arshad Hamid
Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of fish are dying in the Nigeen lake in Indian- controlled Kashmir due to high temperatures, officials
The abrupt deaths of fish in huge number have pushed the carcasses on lake's surface in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-
controlled Kashmir."I've never seen lake's placid waters dotted with dead fish in my life," said Bashir Ahmad Dar, a local. "It's
something unusual and scary to look at."Director of Fisheries Department Showkat Ali said majority of the dead fish includes four
species, two non-commercial and other two commercial. "The non-commercial species include Gambusia and small carp, while as commercial
species include schizothorax and common carp," Ali said.
The high temperature and shortage of rainfall has resulted in decreasing water level in streams and canals, thereby affecting
irrigation supplies and creating drought like situation. The mercury hovered around 34 degrees Celsius during last week. The two-month
long dry spell was broken Friday evening after the region received a rainfall for several hours.
Inside Nigeen lake, the government has banned fishing activity. The ban was imposed after scientists discovered the lake was serving
as mating water body for the fish species. The lake is a breeding sanctuary for carp fish and over the years the fish population has
seen a sharp rise. The lake is famous for its high class wooden houseboats, where usually foreign tourists prefer to stay. (Xinhua)