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Use of Lariam drug on Defence Forces soldiers serving overseas must be brought to an end – Ó Snodaigh

28 June, 2017 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Defence Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has tonight urged the Government to end their use of Lariam for members of the Defence Forces as a means of preventing military personnel from contracting malaria overseas.

Use of Lariam has been heavily linked to side effects including deteriorating states of mental health, suicidal thoughts, anxiety and more.

Speaking tonight, Teachta Ó Snodaigh said;

“For nearly a decade I have raised the dangerous and potentially fatal side effects associated with Lariam with successive Ministers for Defence.

“The duties carried out by the Irish Defence Forces in peacekeeping missions in some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones and more recently in their role rescuing thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean can been reflected in the consistently high esteem they are carried internationally.

“Unfortunately, such esteem for the Defence Forces has not always been reflected by Government Ministers who have neglected to address this ongoing health crisis.

“An alternative anti-malaria medication that is safe for consumption is urgently needed. By stopping the use of Lariam we can take a step in the right direction for bringing about this change.

“The trauma felt by soldiers, their families and partners as a result of this drug has been irreversible. Tonight we have the opportunity to stop future generations from experiencing this distress.

“The Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe needs to take the first step in making this change by supporting our motion tonight and replacing Lariam and prioritising the health and well-being of Irish soldiers serving overseas.

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