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Thread: Malaria Claims

  1. #51
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehog View Post
    All they want is proper screening and alternative treatment for those who can't take Lariam, and treatment for those suffering the effects.
    And they 1000% should get it for all but the problem could become those who raise their hands could eventually be medically discharged which could prevent them coming forward.

    Problem in Ireland is that too often the powers that be only get interested when the solicitors get involved and then start to fight the fire.

    As I said I didn't see the whole programne but to say that the DF suicide rate now matches that of the civilian population, there may also be other causes.

  2. #52
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    They compared Larium and Malerone. When I first went to Africa 12 years ago I was prescribed Larium, a few mood swings (but who would notice) and some freaky dreams but otherwise everything ok. When I went back to Africa 3 years ago I was prescribed Malerone. I asked about Larium, the doctor went oh no we don't prescribe that any more. The program said last night that Malerone has been approved for long term use in the us military

  3. #53
    Serf hedgehog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    And they 1000% should get it for all but the problem could become those who raise their hands could eventually be medically discharged which could prevent them coming forward.

    .
    Exactly, and bear in mind only a small % suffer adversely, when it first started they only wanted proper treatment for those suffering, proper screening to ensure no others suffer, alternative malaria for those whom Lariam affects, and no diminished career or overseas prospects for those involved.
    If the Minister at the time had acted properly, then there would have been no programme last night and a couple of extra Soldiers eating their breakfasts at home this morning.

    We genuinely know our Ministers aren't evil, nor do they knowingly want to hurt our troops, so one has to ask why they do what they do to our troops, and bearing in mind that the Minister is only a temporary position then one surely has to look at the permanent power that sits behind the throne and that's the senior civil servants- they have to be advising the minister to fight this and not give in, I cannot fathom any reason why they would do so, and I don't think they are evil or wish harm to our troops.

    But like the senior civil servant who ruled we didn't need hearing protection, the senior civil servant who insists on Lariam will one day retire on a nice pension and know that if the shit hits the Lariam fan then his pension and perks are safe and his name will never be mentioned.

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  5. #54
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/106...oated+Tablets/

    http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/279...250mg+Tablets/

    I wouldn't say the IMB are blameless either, 4/5 years to get a risk of suicide on box

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  7. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Inman View Post
    Primetime on RTE had a programme on the effects of Larium, input from retired medical officers from the UK and US Armed Forces.
    They had serious reservations about the use of Larium. Watch it on RTE player.
    http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10151105/
    Have recorded it from last night and will be watching it hopefully over the weekend... sad viewing the bit I did catch last night
    "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

  8. #56
    Corporal irishrgr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truck Driver View Post
    Have recorded it from last night and will be watching it hopefully over the weekend... sad viewing the bit I did catch last night
    I saw the RTE programme, interesting enough, maybe a bit sensational. I was issued meflaquin (Larium) in both 2003 and 2006. Never bothered me personally, some of the lads did have weird dreams, others had GI issues. Then, in late 2006, the US Army stopped issueing and switched to Doxycycline. The Larium was linked to some side effects, especially in the wake of the Bragg shootings. It was also (so our Bn Surgeon was told) an economic decision as Doxy is an antibotic and can be bought in massive, generic quantities. I'm sure the truth is in the middle somewhere as usual.

    I took both, as I'd rather not deal with malaria, but I don't know enough about tropical medicine to argue either way. Given there is a growing body of evidence about the side effects of larium, I would have though the DF would take the more conservative approach of staying away from it.

    Given the growing awareness of PTSD, it's probably hard to find a direct cause & effect to the drug. Was it the drug, was it the deployment, was it the PTSD? Sadly we'll probably never know.

    As regards the litigation, well, it'll all come out in court at this point. And I'm sure, as with all litigation there are a few ready to jump on the bandwagon. Given the trend with other countries staying away from the drug, this could go badly for the DF.

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  10. #57
    Brigadier General
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    I seen this on Facebook.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #58
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Not surprising, particularly given that former members of an Illegal organisation have taken such an interest in the campaign.

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  13. #59
    Serf hedgehog's Avatar
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    The only TD that would actually sit down and listen to them was Aeonghas, I hate the Shinners as much as the next guy, but fore feck sake Fine Gael wouldn't meaningfully meet with them, Shatter tell porkies about them and now the Judge non Judge is monitoring them.

    At least AOS actually did something.

  14. #60
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    Yeah but do we have to sell our souls to the devil in the process??
    Infantry Corps - An Lámh Comhrac


    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

  15. #61
    Serf hedgehog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Yeah but do we have to sell our souls to the devil in the process??
    No mate,

    But when every legitimate politician and political party shut the door in your face and the civil servants in the department you dealt with initiated a campaign against you because

    You had the temerity to have an adverse reaction to the cheap drug they forced you to take - would you just keep

    Hoping that the civil servants briefing the Minister would change their mind and give you a crumb from the table

    Or would you fight dirty and fight clever and use the enemy of my enemy .

    I thank the good Lord I don't have Lariam problems but I say well done to the lads who stuck two fingers up to the civil servants and fought like we were taught to fight,

    Dirty and using every means available.

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  17. #62
    Sergeant Major B Inman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Yeah but do we have to sell our souls to the devil in the process??
    He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon

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  19. #63
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    Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to something like this.

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  21. #64
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    A Gruesome War Crime Renews Concerns About a Malaria Drug’s Psychiatric Side Effects
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...obert-bales/2/

    (Mefloquine aka Lariam, Mephaquin or Mefliam)

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  24. #66
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    Report on controversial anti-malarial drug to remain secret

    Prescription of Lariam to Defence Forces to continue despite revised safety information

    A report on the use of controversial anti-malarial drug Lariam received by Minister for Defence Alan Shatter is “legally privileged” and will not be published, the Department of Defence has said.

    Administration of the drug to Defence Forces personnel travelling to malarial countries will continue. This is despite revised safety information from manufacturer Roche that the drug can cause serious neuropsychiatric disorders.

    The disorders now listed by Roche as possible side effects include insomnia, anxiety and depression. The company also says hallucinations, psychosis, suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-endangering behaviour have been reported. It says that adverse reactions could persist up to several months after discontinuation.

    Documents seen by The Irish Times indicate that soldiers on a mission to Chad in 2009 were told if they failed to take Lariam and caught malaria “by their own fault” the Defence Forces “are not liable”.

    They were required to take the drug under supervision and were warned not to take any other anti-malarial medicine as “only Lariam is effective in Chad”, though other drugs, such as atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone) and orartemether-lumefantrine (Coartem), are used by other countries, including the US. Alternative anti-malarial drugs found in the possession of any soldier would be considered contraband and soldiers would face disciplinary action if found with them, soldiers were told.

    Blood test
    If they did become sick with malaria, a blood test would reveal “the amount of Lariam in your system”, soldiers were warned. They were also required to report any other soldier to an officer if they were aware he or she was not taking the drug.

    Lariam, chemical name mefloquine, has been issued to Irish soldiers to combat malaria since 2001 when it was prescribed for those going to Eritrea. Since then, it has been the main drug used for Defence Forces missions to countries with malaria.

    While it was also used widely in the US military, the Pentagon dropped it as the drug of choice in 2009 after concerns about side effects in some soldiers.

    Advice given to Irish personnel going to Chad included that if they developed intolerable side effects, alternative medication could be prescribed, “but in the event of this happening, you will be considered unfit for future missions requiring Lariam”.

    Additional measures were taken by the Defence Forces in 2004 to ensure personnel travelling to malarial countries took their medication. These included that all personnel be ordered to take their medication, to be administered once a week, unless ordered to cease under medical advice and those who failed to do so could be repatriated. Taking of the drug was also to be supervised.

    Some serving and former members of the Defence Forces have since begun legal action against the State complaining of side effects including depression and suicidal ideation.

    The report of the Working Group on Malaria Chemoprophylaxis, set up in 2009, examined the use of Lariam. The group reported to Mr Shatter over the summer.

    Aware of side effects
    In a statement the department said the report was “produced in the context of current and potential litigation and is legally privileged” and would not be published.

    The Defence Forces were aware of the reported side effects “attaching to all anti-malarial medications”, including the latest patient safety information issued by Roche for Lariam, the statement noted. And “significant precautions” are being taken by the Medical Corps to assess the suitability of members to take Lariam or any other anti-malarial drugs.

    “Lariam continues to be authorised by the Irish Medicines Board, the statutory body that regulates medicines available in Ireland, and the Defence Forces comply fully with IMB guidelines on the prescribing of all medicines including Lariam,” it said.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/healt...cret-1.1561615

  25. #67
    Serf hedgehog's Avatar
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    Lariam continues to be authorised by the Irish Medicines Board, the statutory body that regulates medicines available in Ireland, and the Defence Forces comply fully with IMB guidelines on the prescribing of all medicines including Lariam,” it said.
    The IMB also allows the dispensing of Thaliomide in certain circumstances and where exhaustive checks have been carried out, and where found to be toxic for the patient they advise a different course of treatment.

    Take Lariam or dont go over seas- do not collect the medal- do not meet the requirements for staying in the DF- nice choice.

  26. #68
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    According to the above you just can't serve on Larium missions

    Does Bosnia, Kosovo, Lebanon require it?

  27. #69
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    No they don't but how many soldiers are on the bosnia/k-for mission.
    Chances of getting one of them missions are slim

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  29. #70
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    ‘Nothing to hide’ in decision not to publish Lariam report

    Shatter confirms 24 current and former soldiers suing State over anti-malarial drug

    Minister for Defence Alan Shatter has insisted he has “nothing to hide” after a decision not to publish a report on the use of the controversial anti-malarial drug, Lariam.

    Mr Shatter confirmed 24 current and former members of the Defence Forces are taking cases against the State, alleging personal injury as a result of their consumption of mefloquine (Lariam). High Court proceedings have been served in nine of them.

    Fianna Fáil defence spokesman Seán Ó Fearghaíl said he was “astonished” by the Department of Defence’s attitude not to publish the report, given that it was prepared in the context of current and potential litigation arising from use of the drug.

    He said: “Given that in the event of legal action the report would have to be made available, why doesn’t the Minister publish it now and let us see what it contains so as to clear up any concerns?”

    The Kildare South TD also said: “Doesn’t the fact it is not being published give the impression there is something to hide on the part of the Department of Defence?”

    Insisting he had nothing to hide, Mr Shatter said he also assumed each of his predecessors as minister for defence for 14 years in the lifetime of the previous government had nothing to hide.

    Mr Ó Fearghaíl raised the issue following a story in The Irish Times that the report was “legally privileged” and would not be published. The newspaper also reported the drug would continue to be administered to Defence Forces personnel working overseas in malarial zones, despite safety information from manufacturer Roche that Lariam could cause serious neuropsychiatric disorders.

    The newspaper also reported that in 2009 soldiers were told the Defence Forces would not be liable if they failed to take Lariam and contracted malaria .

    Mr Shatter said “the instructions from 2009 published by the Defence Forces were published when the Deputy’s colleague Willie O’Dea was minister for defence. I have nothing to hide.”

    Mr Shatter said the choice of anti-malarial drug “must always remain a medical decision to be made by the medical officers in the Defence Forces on the basis of best medical practice, having regard to the specific circumstances of the mission and the individual member”.

    He explained that a working group was established by the department in January 2011 to examine the use of Lariam and other anti-malarial drugs used by the Defence Forces. It included members of the Defence Forces’ medical corps, personnel policy branch and human resources and litigation branch. The State Claims Agency and Chief State Solicitor’s office were also represented.

    Mr Shatter received the report in June and said that “in the context of current and potential litigation...[it] is therefore legally privileged”.

    He said the group investigated all the allegations surrounding the use of Lariam and obtained advice from leading experts who concurred with Defence Force policy on prescribing Lariam.

    The Minister stressed how dangerous malaria was and that it could cause serious injury and death. About one million people die annually in sub-Saharan Africa from the disease and it is “a serious threat to any military force operating in a malarious area”.

    The Defence Forces’ anti-malarial policy has worked, he stressed, adding that not a single Irish soldier had died in the decade of Defence Forces deployment to that region.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/polit...port-1.1565653

  30. #71
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    For information



    DAIL Thursday 17th October 2013


    TOPICAL ISSUE MATTERS



    Defence Forces Medicinal Products

    Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: I thank the Ceann Comhairle for accepting this issue. According to media reports yesterday, a study on the use of the controversial anti-malarial drug, Lariam, received by the Minister for Defence, Deputy Shatter, whom I welcome in the Chamber, is legally privileged and will not be published. The use of Lariam has been a topic of concern for some time, and not only under the current Government. It is vital that we answer these concerns.

    Yesterday The Irish Times carried a story stating that the administration of the drug to Defence Forces personnel travelling to malarial countries will continue, notwithstanding revised safety information from the manufacturer Roche, stating that the drug can cause serious neuro-psychiatric disorders. Roche states that possible side effects include insomnia, anxiety and depression. The company also mentions that hallucinations, psychosis, suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-endangering behaviour have been reported. It states that adverse reactions can persist for several months after discontinuation of the drug.

    It seems that soldiers on a mission to Chad in 2009 were told that if they failed to take Lariam and caught malaria through their own fault the Defence Forces would not be liable. It is also reported they were required to take the drug under supervision, were warned not to take any other anti-malarial medicine and were told that only Lariam is effective in Chad. Other drugs such as Malarone and Coartem are used by other countries, including the United States. Alternative anti-malarial drugs found in the possession of any soldier would be considered contraband and soldiers were told they could face disciplinary action if found with such drugs.

    Some serving and former members of the Defence Forces have begun legal action against the State, complaining of side effects including depression and suicidal ideation. The report of the working group on malarial chemoprophylaxis, set up in 2009, examined the use of Lariam. The group reported to the Minister during the summer. A statement from the Department of Defence notes that the report was produced in the context of current and potential litigation, is legally privileged and would not be published.

    I am astonished by this attitude. Surely the report should be published as a matter of course. Is it not in any case subject to discovery by any lawyers taking action in this matter? Does the fact it is not being published not give the impression there is something to hide on the part of the Department of Defence? Should a Government that claims to cherish transparency, which pats itself on the back on a regular basis about improvements in the Freedom of Information Act and other areas, not publish this report?

    This particular controversy will not go away. The momentum demanding action and either an exposé or an explanation on the part of the Department is growing by the day. Whatever may have been said by different Ministers in the past, including those of my party who adopted a particular view on the matter, we cannot ignore the growing controversy. Apart from that controversy, the growing body of evidence seems to suggest that at least there are questions to answer. When we look at this drug as not only one of three possible medications that could be used, but also one in respect of which its own manufacturer has raised real and meaningful concerns, it is incumbent on he Department of Defence to address those concerns. In this instance, where I understand the Minister has a report, he should at least publish it.


    Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I thank the Deputy for raising the issue. I am sorry he is making allegations that somebody has something to hide. I certainly have nothing to hide and I assume each of my predecessors who were Ministers for Defence for 14 years during the lifetime of the previous Government had nothing to hide. The document to which the Deputy refers, the instructions from 2009 published by the Defence Forces, were published when the Deputy's colleague, Deputy Willie O'Dea, was Minister for Defence. I have nothing to hide.

    Arising from assertions which had been circulating regarding the prescribing and side effects of Lariam, my Department established a working group in January 2011 to examine the use of Lariam and other anti-malarial drugs in the Defence Forces. The group comprises representatives of the Defence Forces Medical Corps, Defence Forces personnel policy branch and Defence Forces human resources and litigation branch. It also includes representatives from the State Claims Agency and the Chief State Solicitor's Office.

    The purpose of this group was to review issues arising in respect of the use of Lariam, having particular regard to current and potential litigation, to review and confirm the approach of the Defence Forces in regard to the use of malaria chemoprophylaxis in the Defence Forces and to ensure that the procedures in relation thereto continue to be appropriate and in accordance with best medical practice as promulgated by the relevant medical authorities. The work of the group informs the Defence organisation's process of ongoing risk assessment and mitigation in the context of a proactive risk management strategy.

    The group reported back to me in June this year. While the report was produced, as the Deputy correctly noted, in the context of current and potential litigation and is, therefore, legally privileged, I can confirm that the group investigated all the various allegations surrounding the use of Lariam and that it obtained advice from leading medical experts. These experts concur with the practices followed by the Defence Forces in prescribing Lariam.

    On my behalf, the State Claims Agency is currently handling 24 cases taken by members and former members of the Defence Forces who allege personal injury as a result of their consumption of mefloquine, or Lariam. High Court proceedings have been served in respect of nine of these cases.

    It is important to draw to the attention of the Deputy and of the House that malaria is a serious disease that can cause serious complications and death.

    It is estimated by the World Health Organization that approximately 1 million people die every year from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa alone. It has also long been recognised as being a serious threat to any military force operating in a malarious area.

    The anti-malaria regime in place in the Defence Forces, including the use of lariam, has worked. In the decade of deployment to sub-Saharan Africa by the Defence Forces, not a single member of the Defence Forces has died from malaria. Research has shown that lariam is one of the most effective medications for protection against the type of malaria prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. It is authorised for use by the Irish Medicines Board, IMB, which is the statutory regulatory body charged with the regulation of the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines available in Ireland. I am advised that the decisions of the IMB are taken in consultation with European and other international bodies and that the IMB remains of the view that the benefit-risk profile for the product remains acceptable.

    The choice of chemoprophylactic medication depends on a number of factors including the type of malaria in the destination, resistance to particular drugs, the profile of the traveller - in other words, contra-indications, underlying health conditions and purpose of travel - the duration of travel and adherence issues. This choice must always remain a medical decision to be made by medical officers in the Defence Forces on the basis of best medical practice, having regard to the specific circumstances of the mission and the individual member of the Defence Forces. It is not a matter for ministerial direction.

    The Defence Forces are fully aware of the range of reported side effects attaching to all anti-malarial medications and significant precautions are taken by the medical corps in assessing the medical suitability of members of the Defence Forces to take lariam or any of the other anti-malarial medications. Lariam must remain in the formulary of medications prescribed by the medical corps for Defence Forces personnel on appropriate overseas missions, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, to ensure that our military personnel can have effective protection from the very serious risks posed by this highly dangerous disease.

    There is not, as the Deputy put it, a growing controversy. It is a question of how this matter should be approached. My central concern is the safety and health of members of the Defence Forces and in that context we will continue to abide by the best advices of the Irish Medicines Board and ensure that we have in place the appropriate medical procedures to pre-screen members of the Defence Forces as to their suitability for the taking of lariam before they go on any mission abroad.

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  32. #72
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    DAIL Thursday 17th October 2013


    TOPICAL ISSUE MATTERS



    Defence Forces Medicinal Products


    CONTINUED..........


    Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: I must first acknowledge that the procedure over the years in this country has been far better than it was in the United States of America where the drug was widely prescribed and that the screening adopted by the military authorities in this country is one that I acknowledge has been particularly effective. If the Minister believes there is not a growing controversy on the issue then he is once again denying reality and he is not aware of what is happening around him because it is a simple statement of fact.

    The Minister indicated that the expert report concurs with the practices followed by the Defence Forces in prescribing lariam to date. Could he indicate whether the report recommends that the Department of Defence continues to prescribe lariam as heretofore? The report might well be accessible by way of discovery in the event of legal action being taken. A number of cases are before the courts currently. Given that in the event of legal action the report would have to be made available, why does the Minister not publish it now and let us see what it contains so as to clear up any concerns?


    Deputy Alan Shatter: It is always legitimate that questions are asked but the fact that individuals raised concerns does not justify the Deputy being alarmist with regard to the use of lariam. As the Deputy well knows from responses to previous questions in the Dáil on the issue, which I addressed at great length, the difficulties that arose with the use of lariam by members of the United States army derived from the fact that there was no pre-screening and that all of the contra-indications, for example, if someone suffers from depression or other psychosomatic difficulty, were not screened out. There was a substantial problem in the American armed forces because they did not adopt the approach we adopt.

    There is nothing in the report that indicates in any shape or form that the approach that has been taken heretofore should not be taken. I wish to be quite categoric on that. I reiterate that the choice of medication must always remain a medical decision to be made by medical officers in the Defence Forces on the basis of best medical practice, having regard to the specific circumstances of the mission and the individual member of the Defence Forces. It is not a matter for ministerial direction. The expert group investigated all the various allegations surrounding the use of lariam and obtained advice from leading medical experts. In the context of research, Lariam has been shown to be one of the most effective medications for protection against the type of malaria prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. Other medications are available that are not suitable for sub-Saharan Africa. There are various types of malaria and we have an obligation to ensure that our forces have the protection that is appropriate to them. Malarone is another possible alternative but not all the alternatives are suitable for each location in which we deploy members of the Defence Forces.

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    Forget about the civil serpents what about the ossifers the unit commanders who did not stand up and object. afraid of loosing the the pension, and do not tell me they were not responible , thats why they were a different uniform, that is why thay are saluted and have the priviliges of rank.. to lead , ( Not to be sheep, )complete the mission and look after the welfare of their men.

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  35. #74
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Seems the British Army is still using it

    http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/thr...a-drug.235482/

  36. #75
    Serf hedgehog's Avatar
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    The Guardian and the Independent (the UK) one are running features on it as well- I will posty linkies when I get a Chancie
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

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