Fides News English Agency Newsen-usAFRICA/KENYA - Jigger disease severely marks AIDS orphans - In Busia and Siaya more than 509 children suffer from jiggers, a skin infection caused by a flea that damages joints and makes walking difficult, they can walk back to school after being treated by the Christian Heart For Kenya group, affiliated to the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya . In all, Heart For Kenya has assisted 1,500 orphan schoolchildren. In a press release, Pentecostal Bishop Gabriel Ouma said that after the death of their parents due to AIDS, most of the victims of jiggers had been left in the care of elderly grandparents. In addition, the increase in the prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS has caused the worsening of the phenomenon of children who have to take care of the family, forcing many of them to leave school to look for a minimum income to survive. With the contribution of the Christian group some have managed to go to University as well as pursue technical training courses for teachers. Mon, 12 Oct 2015 13:37:54 +0200AMERICA/BOLIVIA - The Pope's message at the forum on climate: "Follow a fair and integral ecology" - On Saturday, October 10 Pope Francis asked the Second World Conference on Climate Change taking place these days in Bolivia, to be guided by the "principles of a fair and integral ecology" that takes into account the people. The Holy Father sent a brief letter to the Forum, based in the Bolivian city of Tiquipaya, which was convened by President Evo Morales to collect the contributions of social movements on the issue of climate change.<br />The Forum of Tiquipaya, which ends today, Monday, October 12, will make known its findings at the twenty-first World Summit of the United Nations on Climate Change , to be held in Paris. According to agencies, they were 6,000 participants from 5 continents at the opening of the Forum. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had also arrived in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba to deliver a message at the Conference. Mon, 12 Oct 2015 13:28:26 +0200AFRICA/DR CONGO - Concern for the resignation of the President of the Independent Electoral Commission - The resignation of Father Apollinaire Malumalu as President of the Independent Electoral Commission is raising questions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is about to experience a busy electoral calendar.<br />The priest, who in 2013 received canonical sanctions by the Congolese Bishops' Conference for violating the provision prohibiting priests to actively participate in political parties and associations of political nature, as well as the management of state institutions, at all levels, in charge of organizing elections , has announced his resignation for health reasons.<br />According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the opposition fears that with the resignation of Fr. Malumalu, outgoing President Kabila might influence the CENI through the first Vice President of the Commission.<br />In a statement sent to Fides, the Center for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in North Kivu , expresses its concern that the resignation of Father Apollinaire could affect the election calendar. The CEPADHO invites "representatives of religious confessions of the DRC to hold an emergency meeting to appoint the successor of Fr. Apollinaire Malumalu as soon as possible". Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:58:35 +0200ASIA/SYRIA - Father Jihad (Community of Deir Mar Musa): we thank Christians and Muslims who prayed for the release of father Murad - "We are grateful to the Lord and give praise to the merciful God for this gift. And we thank all the friends in the world who prayed for Jacques and for our monastic community, Christians, Muslims or others, even those who do not believe or believe otherwise, for their solidarity and sympathy". This is what Fr. Jihad Youssef, Syrian monk of the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa tells Agenzia Fides who expresses his joy and gratitude and that of other monks and nuns of the community for the return to freedom of Syrian priest Jacques Murad, who was also a member of the monastic community and the Prior of the Syrian Catholic monastery in Qaryatayn. <br />"We ask for the prayers and solidarity of every man and woman of good will for peace in Syria and around the world", adds Fr. Jihad "and especially for all the people who have been abducted or have disappeared".<br />Syrian priest Jacques Murad was released on Sunday 11 October, who since May 21, gunmen had kidnapped him from the Syrian Catholic monastery in Qaryatayn, 60 km south-east of Homs. According to news reported by local sources, the priest is physically well and yesterday celebrated Sunday mass in Zaydal, in the south-east of Homs.<br />Father Murad is part of the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa, founded by the Roman Jesuit Paolo Dall'Oglio, who disappeared in northern Syria on July 29, 2013 while he was in Raqqa, a stronghold of the Islamic State of jihadists .<br />The monastic settlement of Mar Elian, on the outskirts of Quaryatayn, had represented an oasis of peace and hospitality in the heart of a war zone. It was father Jacques, along with a Sunni lawyer, who became mediators to ensure that the urban center of 35 thousand inhabitants were spared for long periods by fighting between the army and government anti-Assad militants. In the Monastery hundreds of refugees were welcomed, including more than a hundred children under ten years of age. Father Jacques and his friends had provided to find the necessary for their survival even by seeking the help of Muslim donors. Then, last August, the jihadists of the Islamic State took control of the area and devastated the monastery. During their offensive in the south-east of Homs, the jihadists also took hostage about 270 Christians and Muslims in the area of Qaryatayn. In recent days, a video was released on jihadist websites which shows a group of Christians in Qaryatayn while they participate in the meeting in which they had to sign a "payment contract" to continue living in their homes, in the territory controlled by the self-proclaimed Islamic State . <br />Photographic images of that meeting, which took place in a conference room in Qaryatayn, had been released already at the end of August. Both in the video and photografic images, father Murad appears among the participants. Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:27:39 +0200AFRICA - Ugandan Bishops: "Pope Francis comes here as a bridge builder" - "In a Country like ours where unity and national consensus has eluded us for decades, the Pope comes as a bridge builder. This demands of us to imitate Christ who came to serve rather than to be served, it invites us to be servants to one another", said the Pastoral Message of the Ugandan Bishops in preparation for the Pope’s visit Francis in late November. <br />The message, sent to Agenzia Fides, invites the faithful to pray for the visit, to carry out acts of charity for the poor and "make every effort to reconcile and love one another as Christ has loved us".<br />The Bishops also underline the alarming gap and contradictions between the faith professed and the life Ugandans live, between the gospel and some traditional African practices such as polygamy, cohabitation, trial marriage, witchcraft and human sacrifice. "The family is also affected by infidelity, denial of mutual love, child abuse and domestic violence", denounces the message.<br />Even Kenya is preparing itself for Pope Francis’ visit, in particular, the National Eucharistic Congress has just concluded in which special attention was dedicated to the papal visit.<br />The event, held on October 3 at the National Shrine of Mary Subukia, Nakuru, was attended by over 25,000 faithful. "We are here to celebrate the presence of Christ among us. This must give us hope and strengthen our belief in serving God and others more", said His Exc. Mgr. Dominic Kimengich, Bishop of Lodwar and President of the Commission for the Liturgy of the Episcopal Conference of Kenya in his homily. The Bishop urged Christians to take the opportunity of the Eucharistic Congress to repent of serious crimes such as corruption and tribalism, which undermine society and the Christian community.<br />The previous Eucharistic Congress held in Kenya dates back to 1985 with the participation of St. John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:48:39 +0200ASIA/PAKISTAN - Fears for the Catholic headmaster's family - Fear and insecurity prevail in Siddique Azam's family, headmaster in the village of Pernawa, in the district of Kasur in Punjab, who was beaten by fellow Muslims. The latter do not recognize the headmaster’s authority because they do not want to submit to a person of Christian religion, and that is why he was violently beaten in his office, and was ordered to resign . The man is now undergoing hospital treatment. One eye was severely damaged and his children fear that he could be attacked again.<br />For this reason, as Fides learns, his wife and children have asked him to leave teaching in the school. Nabila, his wife, teaches at St. Mary's Convent High School, in the nearby town of Bhai Pheru, always in Kasur district. They have six children: the twins Mishal and Sharjeel 16; Izen 14; twins Shameer and Aleena 10; Mishma 7. "The family spent three nights without sleeping, live in a state of terror and is traumatized", says to Fides lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill who visited the family in recent days. Azam's family has asked the police for protection. The police have arrested the teachers, authors of the beating.<br />"Azam’s case is just one of many examples of how Christians in Pakistan suffer from discrimination, abuse and violence. It is necessary to eradicate extremist and sectarian ideology that prevails in society", concluded the lawyer. .Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:26:34 +0200AMERICA/GUATEMALA - Children give a smile to other children: relief to the flood victims continues City - The heavy catastrophe that hit the village of Santa Catarina Pinula continues to mobilize many joint initiatives and aid for the population where there are many victims, especially children . According to the local press, among the many volunteers who have found themselves in the devastated area, some of them have organized themselves in order to bring a bit of joy to children. Colors, puzzles, and material for manual activities have arrived in Santa Catarina, where the school has been transformed into a reception center. In this environment, where most of the faces are sad, children face this tragedy in their simplicity helped by other children and volunteers.<br />In addition to the reception center, there is a big emergency in the health center, where mats are placed on the floor, tents have been set up with a few tables, a computer with all the data collected. More than material resources what is lacking is moral, emotional and spiritual support. More than solidarity, it is necessary to be merciful with the people who are searching their loved ones in order to give them a proper burial. A word of encouragement, consolation, or a simple hug of brotherhood is what these people need, concludes the note sent to Fides. Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:00:02 +0200AMERICA/NICARAGUA - The Church ready to mediate in the mine issue, "no one has to die for this" - The Catholic Church is ready to mediate: said His Exc. Mgr. Silvio José Báez Ortega, O.C.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, referring to the clashes between workers of the Canadian mine B2Gold and the police, which caused the death of a person and 31 injured.<br />"I pray so that this tension in the country does not spread and increase - said Mgr. Baez after the Mass he celebrated in the parish of San Juan Bautista - because no one has to die for this. No doubt I am sure that the Bishops of Nicaragua are ready to intervene".<br />The note sent to Fides by Mgr. Baez reports that the Bishop deplores the fact that the problems in Nicaragua turn into violent clashes, intransigence and death. "I am deeply saddened by the death of a member of the National Police, he is a Nicaraguan, a brother, he is our brother who in no case had to die", he stressed, recalling that the Church is always for dialogue. For Mgr. Baez it is necessary to negotiate and find a fair solution for everyone. "In social conflicts we must always remember to work for the interest of the working class, the poor, the workers", he concluded.<br />In the town of Malpaisillo, 142 km northwest of the capital, where B2Gold manages the gold mine "El Limon", the climate of tension still persists, the highways are blocked by boulders and tree trunks, there is no food in stores. The director of the mining company B2Gold has asked the instigators of the protest to end their violent behavior, pointing out that the economic losses in these days amounts to approximately US $ 4.5 million, without counting the salary of eight hundred workers. Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:46:14 +0200AFRICA/GUINEA - Presidential elections create tension - 6 million Guineans are called to the polls on Sunday, October 11, to elect a new President.<br />The last phase of the election campaign was marred by accidents, also severe, with victims and wounded. The latest clashes took place on 8 October in the capital, Conakry, with the death of two people.<br />There are 8 candidates. The main contenders are incumbent President Alpha Conde and former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, who had already challenged Condé for president in 2010.<br />Tension in recent days is linked to the refusal of the authorities to Diallo’s request to postpone the vote, in order to allow international election experts to check the electoral lists, which are suspected of being irregular. According to the opposition various irregularities have been found. Suspicions on behalf of the opposition increased by the setting-out of outgoing President’s campaign, whose slogan is "a knockout blow" to win the first round right away. Such a victory, according to the opposition, is possible only with the use of fraud.<br />Mgr. Vincent Coulibaly, Archbishop of Conakry, in a message on the elections, denounced the "ethnocentric instincts" awakened by the campaign and called on all to ensure that the elections are peaceful and that all accept the results . Sat, 10 Oct 2015 12:25:27 +0200AMERICA/BRAZIL - The Church: it is urgent to save abandoned children and adolescents who have disappeared - "Save the abandoned children and look into the disturbing phenomenon of missing teenagers" is the appeal launched by the Conference of Bishops of Brazil who officially opened the campaign "Let's save our children!", mobilizing all Catholic institutions, and reporting an issue that shakes the conscience. As Fides learns, the campaign was announced on the very day in which the international press published the indictment of the United Nations towards the Brazilian authorities by saying that "the police are killing children and teenagers to clean up the city", especially Rio de Janeiro, in view of the 2016 Games. The Church has embraced the initiative of the Federal Council of Medicine , which, along with other institutions that work in favor of children, aims to help clarify the cases of missing children. <br />According to the National Register of missing children and adolescents – says the statement sent to Fides by the Episcopal Conference of Brazil - there are currently 371 cases of missing children and adolescents between 4 and 15 years of age, 204 boys and 167 girls. And only four have been found. According to the CFM, there are more than 250 000 cases of missing children that are not reported in Brazil. One of the causes is human trafficking, 20 million victims worldwide. According to a study by the CFM in Brazil the main reason for the disappearance of children is violence. The campaign promotes different activities and the use of social media to inform, prevent and report cases. Sat, 10 Oct 2015 12:07:33 +0200ASIA/IRAQ - Christians in Erbil protest against corruption, "our neighborhoods are being filled with infamous clubs" - Hundreds of Iraqi Christians, inhabitants of Ankawa, a suburb in Erbil, participated in a peaceful demonstration on Friday, October 9 to protest against corruption and degradation that are making everyday life in that area of the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan even more difficult, an area where Christian communities are concentrated. The protest march started from St. Joseph church, and crossed the streets of the suburb in order to meet a representative of the governor of Erbil, who was given a list with specific demands to be addressed to the local administrative authorities, for a speedy solution of the emergencies.<br />The protest of Christians in Ankawa was also triggered by the explosive growth of nightclubs and discos recorded in the suburb. Even places where prostitution is practiced have increased. "These infamous places" say local sources to Fides "are mainly full of Muslim Kurds from other areas of Erbil. In their neighborhoods alcohol is not sold, there is no nightlife, so they are turning Ankawa into their 'Las Vegas' ...".<br />The event, organized also thanks to the initiative of political formations who are active Christians and local civil society organizations, has called into question the corrupt officials who in the recent past have become accomplices of embezzlement and abuse against Christians, and has also expressed the protest of farmers and owners who have been expropriated of their land by the government, without receiving due compensation.<br />In the memorandum delivered to the representative of the Governor of Erbil, the organizers are asking city authorities to also shut down the infamous clubs which are open around churches and residential areas, to encourage public housing for young families in the area, and to recruit young people of the local communities in the police forces. "We do not need bars and discos, we need hospitals", read a banner displayed at the event, which appears in photos and videos of the event posted on website. Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:49:25 +0200OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - The Bishops: "Stop the crime against people accused of black magic" Moresby - In Papua New Guinea, the Catholic Church has convened a special meeting at the end of the month to address the issue of crimes and murders against persons suspected of having practiced black magic. In Papua women accused of black magic or witchcraft are often victims of summary executions. <br />As Fides learns, the meeting of bishops, priests, pastoral workers will be held in Mendi, a town on the southern Highlands. Here at the end of August, three women and a man were accused of causing the death of some locals by casting a spell. A "popular" court gathered and decided to torture the four defendants with hot irons. Photos of the torture were shown on social media. According to Donald Lippert, O.F.M. Cap, Bishop of Mendi, organizer of the extraordinary summit, "it is impossible to control people's beliefs, but one can control their actions. Attacks on people suspected of practicing black magic will stop only when the authors are condemned".<br />According to some observers, in fact, the problem is impunity and the Government of Papua does not seem to want to deal with it effectively. In 2013, after a global scandal sparked by the murders of women suspected of having practiced evil, the Parliament of Papua New Guinea abolished the Witchcraft Act of 1971. <br />That law divided witchcraft in "good" and "bad". Since then, the killing of a person suspected of witchcraft is, for the law, a pure and simple murder. But the law is not enforced and the government does not push the police and judges to intervene in these crimes. Sat, 10 Oct 2015 10:53:02 +0200AFRICA/TUNISIA - Nobel Peace Prize: "Tunisia shows that democracy is possible in the Arab Muslim world" - "We are happy because it is a recognition and encouragement to Tunisian democracy" said to Agenzia Fides Fr. Jawad Alamat, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Tunisia, commenting on the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet.<br />"We live in a difficult situation, where we find ourselves fighting against terrorism and poverty", says the priest. <br />"The Nobel Peace Prize is an encouragement and an honor for Tunisia, which is not only seen as the Country that initiated the earthquake in the Arab world, but is instead recognized as a Country that is making a path towards a difficult democracy, but possible, in the Arab-Muslim world".<br />"It is an encouragement for Tunisia but also a strong signal launched to the rest of the Arab world and Europe, because it shows that in an Arab country, despite all the obstacles placed by terrorism and by social and economic conditions, it is possible to have peaceful confrontation through dialogue and mutual respect", said Fr. Jawad. "We thank the Lord and all those who wanted to give this award to Tunisia", said the priest.<br />The Quartet, formed in 2013, comprises UGTT, the Tunisian Labor Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, has worked hard to get Tunisia out of a political stalemate after the murders of two opponents, Choukri Belaid and Mohammad Ibrahim, allowing the Country to resume the process of democratic transition. Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:56:13 +0200AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Nuncio Diquattro representative of the Holy See at the World Conference on Climate Change Paz - Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, Apostolic Nuncio in Bolivia, was appointed representative of the Holy See at the Second World Conference on Climate Change, to be held from 10 to 12 October 2015 in Bolivia. "I am pleased to announce that the Holy See has accepted the invitation of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and have designated me to attend the Peoples' World Conference on Climate Change and the defense of life" said the Nuncio yesterday, as reported in the note sent to Fides from a local source.<br />During Pope Francis' visit in Bolivia, last July, the Holy Father mentioned his encyclical on ecology "Laudato Sì" more than once. The document presents a criticism regarding consumerism and irresponsible development, at the same time makes an appeal to intervene to fight climate change. The Bolivian government has found a series of coincidences with this document.<br />Tiquipaya will be for the second time the venue of the climate summit, the results of which will be shown during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in France. The event in Bolivia will be attended by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Heads of state and delegations from 50 countries. Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:29:12 +0200AFRICA/GUINEA - Archbishop of Conakry: "Sunday's elections: a test of democracy and political maturity" - "Our Country is about to undergo a revealing test of its level of political maturity", said His Exc. Mgr. Vincent Coulibaly, Archbishop of Conakry, in a message for the presidential elections to be held in the Republic of Guinea on Sunday, October 11.<br />"The election campaign in Conakry and within the Country has awakened latent ethnocentric instincts and put a light on the inability of the Guineans to go beyond their differences to be united around a common ideal: that of national unity, the basis needed for development" denounces Mgr. Coulibaly.<br />The election campaign took place in a seemingly peaceful manner but tension has increased as the date of the vote in the capital Conakry and in other areas of the country approaches, with clashes between supporters of outgoing President Alpha Condé and those of his main opponent, former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo. The most serious incidents occurred last week in N'Zérékoré with one death and several injuries.<br />Mgr. Coulibaly invites "the dear fellow citizens to avoid all forms of violence before, during and after the elections", hoping that the election results are accepted and respected by all.<br />The Archbishop recalled that "the common denominator that must guide all Guineans is the aspiration to better living conditions", for this reason he invites politicians to be "calm" and the media to "provide right and credible information, whose sources are verified and verifiable".<br />Mgr. Coulibaly finally invited the faithful to consecrate the day today to fasting and prayer so "that God will give to our country, Guinea, what is desired by all: peace". Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:18:28 +0200AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Organizations call on President al-Sisi to reopen the investigation into the massacre of Maspero – After four years of the so-called massacre of Maspero, the Copts of Egypt Coalition - independent organization of the Coptic Orthodox Church, but animated by militant lay Copts - has asked President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the Egyptian Minister of Justice Ahmed al-Zind to reopen the investigation regarding this tragic event, in which 27 Christian Copts were killed by ferocious reprisals unleashed by military units against a protest.<br />On October 9, 2011, the Egyptian military forces attacked the Coptic demonstrators protesting near the Maspero building, the headquarters of the State TV and radio. The protest was caused by the destruction of a church, which took place in Upper Egypt by extremist Salafists and with the coverage of local politicians. The massacre of the Copts – in which at least three hundred protesters were wounded - was also provoked by unidentified armed troops. At that time, the power in the Country was in the hands of the army, after the forced resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and before the election that brought the Muslim Brotherhood of Mohamed Morsi to the government.<br />The leader of the Copts of Egypt Coalition confirmed the intention not to take the case before international courts and bodies, but they insisted on the urgency to reopen investigations, winning the wall of silence and making the information on the instigators and perpetrators public, of what is presented in effect as a massacre of State. Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:04:42 +0200ASIA/IRAQ - Two Iraqi sisters go and live among the Christian refugees camped in Erbil - The two Little Sisters of Charles de Foucauld are called Afnan and Alice and have chosen to live in a camp in Ankawa, on the outskirts of Erbil, where thousands of Christians of the Nineveh Plain, who fled before the offensive of the jihadist Islamic State, have found precarious accommodation. The choice of the two nuns intends to express in a concrete way the total sharing of difficult conditions experienced by thousands of families forced to leave their homes, and have now resigned to the idea that they have to live in that state for a long time.<br />The two nuns are also involving other religious sisters in the assistance mainly aimed at children and young people living in tents and containers. The intent is to protect children and youth from the feeling of emptiness and lack of training activities that over time can lead to psychological and moral degradation. Today, political groups animated by Christian militants and other Community acronyms have organized a protest against the spread of the phenomena of urban decay - such as the proliferation of casinos and bars where alcoholic beverages are sold without control - present in Ankawa, a suburb of Erbil inhabited mostly by Christians. Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:40:44 +0200AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Cardinal Pimiento: "Vote-buying is a crime" - Cardinal Jose de Jesus Pimiento invoked consistency in discussions for a peace agreement between the government and FARC, warning about the lack of justice, truth and irreparable errors. The note sent to Fides from a local source reports the words of the Cardinal broadcast by Radio RCNRadio on October 7: "These agreements have generated many questions, because neither justice nor truth appear, which are what makes us free, and there appears to be no love, which is the Christian formula to make peace, the peace that Jesus brought".<br />Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez, Archbishop emeritus of Manizales , is 96 years ago and was named Cardinal in the Consistory on 14 February 2015. Not only has he questioned the latest statements on the dialogues of Peace in Cuba but called vote buying in the country "a scandal", especially in view of regional elections.<br />"Elections are a very serious thing, but we do not consider them as such, because the democratic system is being ruined by the existing corruption - said the Cardinal -. Vote buying is a crime. Serious democracy needs to have credibility". Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:30:31 +0200ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Tentorio's murder is "a blood stain on justice" - Four years after the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME missionary who was shot dead on October 17, 2011 in Kidapawan on the island of Mindanao, the case remains unsolved and investigations are in deadlock. "Tentorio's case is like a blood stain in our search for justice and peace", wrote his brother Peter Geremia PIME, in a letter sent to the Minister for Justice, Leila de Lima, and sent to Agenzia Fides.<br />The letter calls for a more effective course of justice calling for the involvement of a "special investigation team for unsolved cases". Seven suspects have been identified, some are members of the "Bagan" paramilitary group funded by the army, while some eyewitnesses still live hidden.<br />Fr. Jeremiah writes: "Your administration may soon go down in history. Justice continues to elude us and impunity encourages authors to commit more blatant and barbaric murders". "We hope that all the resources spent on this case, all the people who have worked on it, all the prayers and demonstrations, can produce concrete signs that justice is possible for the victims" continues the text sent to Fides. The letter recalls those who gave their lives for social promotion and rights of indigenous and lumads.<br />On the solution of the case, another confrere, PIME missionary Sebastiano D'Ambra, is not very optimistic and says to Fides: "There seems to be no political will to solve it. Given the elections next May, the government gives priorities to other issues". Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:55:32 +0200AMERICA/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Catholic Church and Public Health together against dengue Domingo - The Ministry of Public Health has launched an alert in the Sánchez Ramírez province, in particular in the municipality of Cotuí, due to the high percentage of dengue cases which are being recorded. <br />According to the local press, the public institution, in agreement with the ecclesiastical authorities in the Country, must act unanimously to cope with this emergency. The main victims are children and, while until recently the province La Altagracia seemed the most affected, the attention is now towards Cotuí. In a recent meeting, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo, and state health authorities stressed the importance of pursuing a coordinated effort among institutions in order to reduce the number of infections. The objective of the meeting was the planning of activities on behalf of the Church and Public Health to combat the disease and reduce the reproduction of the mosquito vector. The Cardinal is committed to collaborating through the 217 parishes of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo and Monte Plata, informing the faithful on the need to prevent dengue. Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:35:59 +0200