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DR Congo Health Ministry blame traditional healers for kids dying of Ebola.

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Children in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are dying from Ebola at an unprecedented rate due largely to poor sanitary practices at clinics run by traditional healers, the health ministry said on Sunday.

The impact on children has been felt acutely in the city of Beni, which has emerged as the outbreak’s new epicentre. 120 confirmed Ebola cases in Beni, at least 30 are under 10-years-old, and 27 of them have died, according to health ministry data.



Many children affected by an unrelated malaria outbreak near Beni are thought to have contracted Ebola at clinics run by traditional healers who have also treated Ebola patients, said Jessica Ilunga, a spokeswoman for the health ministry.

“There is an abnormally high number of children who have contracted and died of Ebola in Beni. Normally, in every Ebola epidemic, children are not as affected,” Ilunga said.

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The rate of new cases in eastern Congo has accelerated in recent weeks.

An emergency World Health Organization committee said earlier this month that the outbreak was likely to worsen significantly unless the response was stepped up.

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The health ministry reported nine new confirmed cases late on Saturday seven in Beni and two in the city of Butembo the biggest one-day jump since the outbreak was declared on Aug. 1.

Congo has suffered 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered near its eponymous Ebola River in 1976. The current one now ranks third in terms of number of confirmed cases.

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Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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