After lowering infant mortality rates among Arabs in western Galilee through the reduction of neonatal infections, early detection and encouraging abortions of fetuses with major and lethal congenital defects, public health experts are now focusing on the last main cause of babies' deaths in this population: inbreeding. Dr. Avshalom Strulov of the University of Haifa's Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies and of the Health Ministry's Northern District health office reports in the August issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal about efforts to discourage Arab first cousins and other close relatives from marrying. Such consanguineous marriages, he writes, "are not part of the Islamic religion" and are indeed harmful since they lead to the conception of fetuses with serious inherited diseases. The district health office has initiated a project in areas with large Arab populations that includes study days for health personnel, initiation of reports against inbreeding in the Arabic-language mass media, and encouragement of Muslim religious leaders to declare in mosques that this practice is likely to produce defective children. Most of the activity, however, recruits elementary and high-school teachers in the Arab sector who speak to pupils about the dangers of marrying close relatives.