The Defence Forces are currently providing support to two separate missions in Mali. 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.
In addition, Government and Dáil approval was received in June of this year for the deployment of a contingent of the Defence Forces to participate in MINUSMA, the United Nations authorised operation in Mali. MINUSMA was established under UN Security Council Resolution 2100 of April 2013. The mission is tasked primarily with providing support to transitional governmental authorities in Mali in efforts to stabilise the country.
I am advised that there are three anti-malarial drugs, namely, Lariam, Malarone and doxycycline, which continue to be used in the Defence Forces. As I indicated to the Deputy in response to the Private Members' motion of 28 June 2017, the use of anti-malarial drugs is a medical matter that should be decided by qualified medical professionals. In the Defence Forces, these are matters for highly qualified medical officers having regard to the specific circumstances of the mission and the individual member of the Defence Forces.
I would also like to point out that there are a range of support services, both medical and non-medical, available to the Defence Forces personnel. These include access to Defence Forces medical officers as well as to psychiatric, psychological, social work and personnel support services. A strictly confidential 24-hour care line, manned by trained counsellors, is also available to Defence Forces personnel.
The Deputy will be aware that the State Claims Agency manages personal injury claims, including personal injury claims relating to the consumption of Lariam taken by current and former members of the Defence Forces. Given that there is litigation pending in these matters, the Deputy will appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.