Thursday, 11 April 2019

Ceisteanna (34)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

34. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the fact that members of the Defence Forces deployed in Mali are prescribed mefloquine as a routine anti-malaria drug; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16968/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

EU Training Mission (EUTM) Mali is part of a wider EU effort in support of international peace and security in the wider Sahel region. The mission is being undertaken at the request of the Malian Government and has the support of a UN Security Council Resolution.

I am advised that there are three anti-malarial drugs, namely Lariam (Mefloquine), Malarone and Doxycycline which continue to be used in the Defence Forces. I have indicated on many occasions that the use of anti-malarial drugs is a medical matter that should be decided by qualified medical professionals.  In the Defence Forces these are decisions for highly qualified Medical Officers, having regard to the specific circumstances of the mission and the individual member of the Defence Forces.   

Given that there is litigation pending in relation to these matters which is being managed by the State Claims Agency, the Deputy will appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me to comment. However, I wish to assure the Deputy that the health and welfare of the men and women of the Defence Forces is a key priority for me and for the Military Authorities.