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Mefloquin news

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  • Christine Chumbler
    Malaria Drug Blamed for Western Atrocities in Somalia Africa News Service 27-MAY-99 Mogadishu (The East African, May 25, 1999) - A Widely available
    Message 1 of 1 , May 28, 1999
      Malaria Drug Blamed for Western
      Atrocities in Somalia

      Africa News Service
      27-MAY-99

      Mogadishu (The East African, May 25, 1999) - A Widely available anti-malarial
      drug has been blamed for some of the military excesses committed by Western
      troops in Somalia. The drug, mefloquine, is recognised by the World Health
      Organisation as one of the most effective drugs against malaria. It is often used
      as a preventive treatment against the disease.

      Mefloquine is however often associated with severe side-effects, including
      depression and hallucinations.

      According to an article appearing in a May issue of the British medical journal
      Lancet, several soldiers from a 900 member Canadian contingent which served
      in the ill-fated UN peace-keeping mission in Somalia between 1992 and 1993
      have blamed the drug for their poor judgement during operations, which on at
      least one occasion led to the death of innocent Somalis.

      The Lancet article is based on a report by Denis Desautels, the Canadian
      government auditor-general, which says that the country's military did not follow
      accepted protocol while administering mefloquine to Canadian soldiers serving in
      the mission. Mef loquine was then still under clinical trial in several countries.

      "The drug was obtained through a clinical trial but was given to soldiers without
      following the required measures to monitor the effects and keep track of its
      distribution," Desautels said.

      Canada's Department of Defence has however reportedly brushed aside the
      criticism, saying that mefloquine achieved the desired effects of preventing
      malaria.

      Inquiries on alleged military misconduct by Western forces during the mission
      held in Italy, Canada and France, have revealed details of gross human rights
      violations, including rape, torture and murder.
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