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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 15:42

Bad Medicine in Canada’s Military | APTN News


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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 15:40

Warriors Betrayed - MEFLOQUINE


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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 15:39

Anti-Malaria Drug Giving Canadian Soldiers Brain Damage


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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 15:38

Mefloquine Presentation by Dr. Remington Nevin


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Re: Mefloquine / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 15:37

Australian mefloquine veteran Chris Stiles begs Australian Defence Force Surgeon General for help


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Neurotoxic effects of mefloquine on Canadian Veterans

Post by Guest on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 07:47

Neurotoxic effects of mefloquine on Canadian Veterans

QP September 19 2017


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Veterans demand federal government examine role of mefloquine in Somalia Affair

Post by Guest on Wed 20 Sep 2017, 07:18

Veterans demand federal government examine role of mefloquine in Somalia Affair


Marj Matchee holds a photo and boots of her husband Master Corporal Clayton Matchee during an anti-malarial drug mefloquine rally September 19, 2017 on the front steps of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA
Sept 19, 2017



Veterans who believe a military-issued anti-malarial drug has left them with damaged brains are demanding the government to acknowledge what they say are the medication's chronic debilitating effects.

A few dozen vets, their family members and their supporters gathered on Parliament Hill on Tuesday to ask that further action be taken on mefloquine, both in determining how much harm has been done and in treating those who continue to suffer.

Dave Bona, who took part in the ill-fated Somalia mission in 1992, told the crowd he lived with depression and suicidal thoughts from the day he started taking mefloquine prior to that deployment until three years ago, when began to be treated for a traumatic brain injury. Mr. Bona previously told a Commons committee that at least two of the men in his 28-man platoon have died by suicide and at least six others have attempted it.

"With the proper diagnosis and the proper treatment, we can stop these suicides," he said on the steps of the Centre Block. The government must "acknowledge that this drug caused problems," he said. "That's all they have to do and the health system will fall in behind them."

Mefloquine is still being offered – though not as a first option – to Canadian troops who are deployed to malaria-ridden countries. Veterans say they have experienced debilitating mood issues, sleep disorders, aggression, depression and memory loss as a result of mefloquine toxicity.

In Somalia, soldiers were ordered to take the anti-malarial drug as part of a poorly run and possibly illegal clinical trial by the Department of National Defence and Health Canada. Many complained of nightmares, unpredictable behaviour and paranoia. And, in March, 1996, master corporal Clayton Matchee, who had been experiencing hallucinations, and private Kyle Brown were charged in the beating death of Somali teenager Shidane Arone.

Mr. Matchee subsequently tried to hang himself and was left permanently brain damaged. Mr. Brown was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.

An inquiry into what is known as the Somalia Affair was cut short a few months before the 1997 election, one week before the issue of mefloquine was to be raised. The veterans who took part in the rally on Tuesday say they want that inquiry reopened to examine what part, if any, the drug played in the tragedy.

Marj Matchee, Mr. Matchee's wife, was at the rally.

"Clayton is going to pay a price for the rest of his life for any role that he ever played. He lost his life there and he'll never have it back," she said in an interview.

"I want acknowledgment, not just for him, but for the rest of these people suffering in silence," she said. The government "needs to find each and every one of these veterans on that list and see how they are doing and see if they have been poisoned by mefloquine and see what kind of care they can give them."

A review of medical literature conducted earlier this year by the Department of National Defence concluded there is no evidence that mefloquine causes permanent neurological and psychiatric problems, despite the anecdotal evidence from Canadian vets and concerns expressed by armed forces around the world.

When asked during the daily Question Period on the House of Commons on Tuesday whether the government would fund more research into the effects of mefloquine, Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan did not give a direct reply.

"Whatever the cause, we support veterans with service-related illnesses and injuries. Every situation is unique," Mr. O'Regan said. "We work with each veteran on their individual circumstances. The health and well-being of our veterans is our top priority."

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/veterans-demand-federal-government-examine-role-of-mefloquine-in-somalia-mission/article36318469/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

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'25 years I struggled': Sask. veteran pushing Ottawa to help soldiers affected by anti-malaria drug

Post by Guest on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 07:40

'25 years I struggled': Sask. veteran pushing Ottawa to help soldiers affected by anti-malaria drug

Dave Bona to march in mefloquine rally at Parliament Hill Tuesday


CBC News Sep 19, 2017



Canadian Armed Forces veteran Dave Bona is marching in Ottawa on Tuesday to call for more help for veterans suffering from the side-effects of mefloquine.

An army veteran from Saskatchewan will share his story of paranoia, anxiety and suicidal thoughts in Ottawa on Tuesday to push the government to help soldiers who suffer the side-effects of the anti-malarial drug mefloquine.

Dave Bona is a 14-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in Somalia and Rwanda.

He said he suffered from the effects of mefloquine for 25 years but, until three years ago, was misdiagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Bona will march in Ottawa today to push for better supports for soldiers who suffered the side-effects of the drug.

"What we have is a small population of soldiers that were on the drug and we're ill, a large percentage of us are ill," said Bona.

Side-effects from the start

He first took the drug mefloquine before his deployment to Somalia in 1992.

"From the very first day I took the drug I immediately felt sick and that night I had my first seizure," said Bona.

He said his vision went black and for a few seconds he saw stars, followed by a longer-lasting feeling of dizziness. His symptoms got worse when he arrived in Somalia, where he said he became withdrawn, moody, confused and easily angered.

By the time he was a quarter of the way through his deployment, Bona was suffering from severe anxiety attacks.

"I became extremely suicidal throughout and that stuck with me up until about three years ago," said Bona.

"Also my anger management — I lost my ability to manage my anger. I would snap and lose it at the drop of a hat."

Frightening incident with rifle

Bona also remembers waking up from a sleep-walking episode as he was carrying a rifle across a compound, and realized the thought in his mind was that he was going to shoot someone.

He said the soldiers around him were also behaving strangely, citing an instance where he saw a member of the military randomly fire at a small bird.

Fearing his career would be over if he reported his symptoms, he kept his health struggles to himself until after he returned to Canada.

When he sought help, Bona said he was mistakenly treated for post-traumatic stress disorder until a doctor diagnosed him with brain damage caused by toxic levels of mefloquine.

He believes a lot of veterans are being incorrectly treated for PTSD, saying individuals affected by mefloquine will not respond to traditional PTSD treatment.


Marj Matchee, Dave Bona and Bev Skwernuik promoting mefloquine awareness before Tuesday's rally. (Submitted by Mefloquine Awareness Canada)

Symptoms did not respond to PTSD treatment: Bona

Bona said he saw a dramatic improvement in his symptoms within three months of starting non-PTSD treatments.

"Twenty-five years I struggled and suffered tremendously," he said.

"Part of the symptoms I had with me was the severe depression that was right from the get-go with that drug, up until three years ago when I started doing treatment for traumatic brain injury."

The Department of National Defence said there is an ongoing review into the use of mefloquine in the Canadian Armed Forces overall, adding that no further information would be available until it is complete.

But Bona is pressuring the government to speed up the review so the federal government can provide a diagnosis, and subsequent treatment, for affected veterans.

When he takes that message to Ottawa on Tuesday, Bona will be joined by Marj Matchee from Meadow Lake, Sask.


Marj Matchee is asking to government to re-open the Somalia inquiry

Marj Matchee to join rally

She says mefloquine — given to all soldiers who went to Somalia in 1992 — drove her husband "to madness."

Clayton Matchee was charged with second-degree murder and torture in connection with the 1993 death of 16-year-old Shidane Abukar Arone, who was accused of trying to break into the Canadian Forces compound as a looter.

More than a decade later, those charges were dropped after it was determined Clayton was unfit to stand trial.

Matchee is asking the federal government to reopen the inquiry into the Somalia mission.

"Every country except Canada has banned this drug. Canada needs to buy on and the only reason they don't is because they don't want to face the Somalia affair," she said.

"It's time it was dealt with. Reopen the Somalia inquiry. Let the chips fall where they may, the truth be told, and the charges laid where they should be."

She also wants the government to look at mefloquine's use countrywide, as it is available to the public.

The Department of National Defence said this week it has no plans to open an investigation into the use of mefloquine in Somalia, specifically.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/mefloquine-rally-ottawa-2017-dave-bona-1.4296209


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MEFLOQUINE RALLY SEPTEMBER 19-20TH PARLIAMENT HILL, OTTAWA

Post by Guest on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 06:30

MEFLOQUINE RALLY SEPTEMBER 19-20TH PARLIAMENT HILL, OTTAWA


Mefloquine Awareness Canada (MAC) is a group comprised of Canadian Forces veterans, family members, civilians, and scientific and medical experts. We aim to raise awareness of the harms caused by the use of the anti-malarial drug mefloquine (also known as Lariam).



This rally aims to draw attention to the questionable and possibly illegal use of this drug by the Canadian Forces during the 1992 deployment to Somalia, prior to the drug’s licensing by Health Canada. Our group alleges, and will present evidence, that use of this drug drove many soldiers to madness, resulting in the torture and murder of Shidane Arone, ultimately culminating in the disbandment of the entire Canadian Airborne Regiment.

We plan to speak out against the use of this drug by Canadian Forces, and provide accurate information to the public on the harms that this use has caused. Our hope is to gain extensive media coverage, that can help raise awareness among veterans who may be suffering from the effects of the drug, and encourage the government to action in support of our group’s goals.

MAC invites all members of the media and public to join the rally, where you will hear a variety of personal accounts of the drug’s neurotoxic effects, and how it affects family members and other loved ones that have to live with those living with the symptoms of mefloquine poisoning. There will be an opportunity for those who join the rally to speak out about their own experiences with mefloquine, and receive support from the group.

The following supportive members of parliament will be joining Mefloquine Awareness Canada at this rally – Cathay Wagantall, John Brassard, and Irene Matheson. Also present are long-time Mefloquine Warriors Marj Matchee and Dave Bona, who will share their personal stories and hopes for eradicating this harmful drug from our society.

Pieter Vorster
Founding Director, Mefloquine Awareness Canada

ATTENDING THE RALLY:



CATHAY WAGANTALL
M.P.

JOHN BRASSARD
M.P.

IRENE MATHYSSON
M.P.


DAVE BONA
Veteran

JOHN CUMMINS
former M.P.



OUR GOALS FOR THE RALLY:

  • re-open the Somalia Commission of Inquiry, to review and investigate the role of the drug in the Somalia Affair;

  • acknowledgment of the drug’s chronic effects, which may mimic symptoms of PTSD;

  • a government program of outreach, to help identify and assist those who may have been exposed to mefloquine;

  • government funding to continue research to improve diagnosing, management of, and curing, the chronic effects of mefloquine.




You can order bumper stickers and other MAC-related products online to support the cause. Visit the online store at –
http://www.cafepress.ca/mefloquineawareness/14783572


https://mefloquineawareness.ca/mefloquine-rally/





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Antimalarial drug mefloquine drove her husband 'to madness,' Sask. woman says

Post by Guest on Thu 24 Aug 2017, 16:17

Antimalarial drug mefloquine drove her husband 'to madness,' Sask. woman says



Then-soldier Clayton Matchee was charged in 1993 death of Somali teen; wife wants inquiry reopened


By Charles Hamilton, CBC News Aug 24, 2017


Marj Matchee is asking the government to reopen the Somalia inquiry. Her husband was charged with second-degree murder in the 1993 death of a Somali teen, which is considered one of the darkest chapters in Canada's military history.

The pictures are haunting: A Canadian Airborne soldier holds a wounded Somali teenager at gunpoint. The teen is bloodied and beaten. He died soon after the pictures were taken.

Those photos and the killing of that teen were central to one the darkest chapters in Canada's military history, known as the Somalia Affair.

But Clayton Matchee's wife said the man in those photos — later charged with second-degree murder and one who suffered permanent brain damage after trying to take his own life — was not the man she married.

He was not the man she knew before he deployed to the African country on a United Nations peacekeeping mission.


Clayton Matchee was ultimately found unfit to stand trial in the death of 16-year-old Shidane Abukar Arone after a suicide attempt left him with permanent brain damage.

"He loved life, he was a hunter, he was a good dad. He was a crazy person and fun to be around. He changed dramatically before he went to Somalia," Marj Matchee said during an interview at her home in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Marj Matchee said the antimalarial drug mefloquine — given to all soldiers who went to Somalia in 1992 — drove her husband "to madness" and was a factor in Shidane Abukar Arone's torture and the subsequent scandal that followed.

She is now asking the federal government to reopen the inquiry into the Somalia mission.

"Twenty-five years later, I still think of Shidane Abukar. I still think that that kid could have had a life," Marj said. "I know that had it not been for mefloquine being ordered to be taken by soldiers … this would have never happened, ever."

The Somalia Affair

Clayton was charged with second-degree murder and torture in connection with the 1993 death of the 16-year-old Shidane Abukar Arone, who was accused of trying to break into the Canadian Forces compound as a looter.

More than a decade later, those charges were dropped after it was determined Clayton was unfit to stand trial.

But the fallout from those charges was far-reaching.


Pte. Kyle Brown is followed out of the courthouse at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa in March 1994. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years for his role in the death of Arone.

The Somalia mission ended in scandal after Arone's death was made public. The Canadian Airborne regiment was disbanded and charges laid against Master Cpl. Matchee, as well as Pte. Kyle Brown.

At an inquiry that followed, questions were raised about whether mefloquine may have played a role in the soldiers' violent crimes. But the inquiry wrapped up before those questions were answered.

Wife fighting to reopen Somalia inquiry

Clayton now spends most of his time in a veterans' hospital or with his parents; he requires round-the-clock care. He tried to hang himself in his cell just days after being charged and was left with severe brain damage.

Even though it has been 25 years, Marj said she hasn't given up her fight to clear her husband's name. While she said she understands the gravity of his crime, she believes he was not in his right mind because of the mefloquine.

Marj and other advocates will march on Parliament Hill on Sept. 19, calling for a reopening of the inquiry.

"Take another look at him again," she said. "Understand that as angry as you may be right now at him, you don't know the facts."

Marj also wants the government to look at mefloquine's use countrywide, as it is available to the public. The drug has been associated with psychiatric and physical side-effects, ranging from anxiety and insomnia, to vivid nightmares and hallucinations.

MP offers support

Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall would also like to see a re-examination of what happened in Somalia as it relates to the use of mefloquine.

Last year, the standing committee on veterans affairs held a two-week hearing in which Wagantall and other MPs heard from a handful of veterans who said they were adversely affected by taking mefloquine.

The soldiers who took the drug reported insomnia, anxiety, paranoia and depression, Wagantall said.

This spring, the government announced that mefloquine would now only be used in the Canadian Armed Forces as a drug of last resort. That announcement came after two government reports concluded there is no conclusive evidence the drug causes permanent, adverse neurological or psychiatric events.


Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall is on the standing committee on veterans affairs. She wants to the government to study the effects of mefloquine on soldiers.

Wagantall said the fact the drug is no longer a first option to fight malaria is a start, but she said other countries have gone further. Germany, for example, has banned the use of the drug entirely.

Wagantall said she hopes the Liberal government will do the same. "The whole situation needs to be reviewed — why this man Clayton Matchee was doing what he was doing?"

In a written statement, a government spokesperson said while there was a review of the use of mefloquine, there are no plans to reopen the inquiry or examine the use of mefloquine during the Somalia mission.

'I would like the truth to be told'

Most of all, Marj Matchee said she wants people to understand what happened in Somalia. She doesn't want her family name to be associated with one of the worst chapters in Canada's military history.

"For our daughter, and our grandchildren after, and our legacy, I would like the truth to be told," she said.

If she is successful in getting the inquiry reopened, she said Clayton will be the first to know.

"I'm going to tell him that the world knows how this thing happened, why he changed."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/clayton-matchee-s-wife-wants-to-reopen-somalia-inquiry-1.4258889


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Mefloquine expert calls for study into after-effects of antimalarial drug

Post by Guest on Sun 30 Jul 2017, 06:15

Mefloquine expert calls for study into after-effects of antimalarial drug


BY JURIS GRANEY
FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, JULY 29, 2017 03:05 PM MDT


A leading voice against the military's use of mefloquine is calling on the Canadian government to launch an independent study to better understand the lasting effects of the use of the controversial antimalarial on troops.

Remington Nevin, a former U.S. army physician and staunch opponent of mefloquine, said making a "concerted effort" to track down surviving members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment deployed to Somalia in 1992-93 had the potential to finally end the debate about permanent damage caused by the drug.

"The question we have wanted to answer for some time is what exactly is the risk of lasting disability from using this drug," Nevin said.

"In the Canadian Airborne Regiment, we have that answer. It's easy for us to study just how common those lasting effects of the drug might be."

Long-term effects well documented

Mefloquine, a controversial neurotoxicant known to have strong side effects like mood swings, depression, aggressive behaviour and dizziness, was dispensed to about 1,000 Somalia-bound troops.

Even before they left Canada, some troops complained of adverse reactions and while deployed many dreaded taking their medication because of its side effects.

Over the intervening years, the long-term effects have been well documented, with calls for it to be totally banned in Canada escalating over the past few years.

Nevin said studying airborne regiment veterans would help better define their condition, come up with ways of formally diagnosing it and then, once it has been diagnosed, identify effective treatments.

"The Canadian government’s reluctance to do this is harming veterans," he said. "This problem is not going away; it’s only going to get worst as time goes on."

Government: No 'conclusive evidence'

A Surgeon General report into mefloquine released last month found that while there was no "conclusive evidence" supporting "long-lasting and permanent neurological and psychiatric adverse events are caused by the use of mefloquine," it recommended the drug be relegated to third-line use.

Nevin said the decision to bump the drug down the pecking order for troops is as good as acknowledging the drug causes harm.

"If it’s too dangerous to use widely today, then what about all the people for whom it was clearly dangerous to in the 25 years before. What about them?" he said.

Jennifer Eckersley, spokeswoman for Canadian Forces Health Services, said the military "takes the health and safety of its members very seriously and (it) continues to be a top priority."

"The (military) will continue to monitor the scientific evidence related to mefloquine, and any future relevant scientific research will be thoroughly reviewed," Eckersley said.

Veterans committee demands

Nevin's calls were echoed by Conservative members of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs in their own supplementary paper to a report released last month.

The Mental Health of Canadian Veterans: A Family Purpose recommends that Veterans Affairs Canada cooperate with any institution concerned in any research program that would study the effects of mefloquine.

But the Conservative addendum wants the government, "in co-operation with all federal, provincial and international institutions concerned (to) initiate an independent research program to study the long-term neurotoxicity of mefloquine."

It also called on the government to "take immediate steps" to contact soldiers who had been ordered to use the drug via an outreach program, to inform them where they can get more information about support.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr is scheduled to table a response to the report in the House of Commons when it resumes in September.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2017/07/29/mefloquine-expert-calls-for-study-into-after-effects-of-antimalarial-drug

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Veteran brings protest against military's use of antimalarial drug to Edmonton

Post by Guest on Thu 20 Jul 2017, 06:46

Veteran brings protest against military's use of antimalarial drug to Edmonton


JURIS GRANEY July 19, 2017

Video: http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/veteran-brings-protest-against-militarys-use-of-antimalarial-drug-to-edmonton

A 14-year military veteran brought his campaign across western Canada to Edmonton on Wednesday to get the federal government to acknowledge the dangers of the antimalarial drug mefloquine and the permanent neurologic and psychiatric side effects it may have had on soldiers who were administered it.


A former member of Canada’s Airborne Regiment, Dave Bona has suffered for more than two decades from symptoms he said are directly linked to the use of mefloquine while posted overseas.

Bona took one tablet a week for his 8-1/2-month deployment in Somalia in 1992 and during his five-month deployment in Rwanda in 1994. He said he has suffered ever since from a range of health issues including dizziness, balance issues, insomnia, anger issues and severe depression that didn’t respond to treatment.

After a series of high-profile concerns were raised in 2016 about the lingering effects its use has had on troops, the federal government launched two reviews into mefloquine, one by Health Canada and another by the Surgeon General for the Canadian military.

Both reviews found there was “limited evidence supporting that long-lasting and permanent neurological and psychiatric adverse events are caused by the use of mefloquine.”

Even though there was no “conclusive evidence” into its long-term effects, the Surgeon General recommended that mefloquine should be used in rare instances by troops and that two alternative drugs should be preferred.

“What an absolute joke,” Bona said Wednesday of the Surgeon General review while protesting outside Canada Place. “That is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible reports that has ever been published.”

Bona pointed to a 2013 decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change its drug labelling to better reflect the risk of permanent neurologic and psychiatric side effects associated with the use of the drug.

The Saskatchewan resident said Ottawa hasn’t gone far enough and called for the drug to be banned outright.

“Why is this drug even licensed for use?” he said. “After all the things that have come to light about this drug, they still stay you can use it, but be aware (of its side effects).

“It should not be used, period.”

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/veteran-brings-protest-against-militarys-use-of-antimalarial-drug-to-edmonton

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'This is the next Agent Orange': Veterans protest military's use of anti-malarial drug

Post by Bruce72 on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 10:20

Bill Kaufmann

Published on: July 13, 2017

Canadian veterans are stepping up their opposition to the military’s continued use of the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, widely blamed for neurological disorders.




Canadian veterans are stepping up their opposition to the military’s continued use of the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, widely blamed for neurological disorders.

Outside a downtown Calgary armed forces recruitment office, 14-year military veteran Dave Bona protested what he calls Ottawa’s failure to address the problems stemming from years of mefloquine doses in hot climate conflict zones such as those in Africa.

But Bona said he’s using his efforts travelling throughout western Canada this summer to educate veterans who might be suffering from exposure to the drug and not know it.

“We want to raise awareness, there are so many veterans who have been misdiagnosed with PTSD,” he said.

But he’s also drawing attention to a pair of reports issued to the country’s surgeon general and Health Canada stating there’s no conclusive evidence mefloquine causes permanent or long-lasting psychiatric or neurological damage.

“Based on the surgeon general’s report, I will not be able to receive treatment,” said Bona, who becomes progressively angrier as he speaks about the government reports.

“You’re supposed to look out for your soldiers, you don’t sanitize a report so your government can save a few bucks,” he said.

The man, court-martialled in 2000 for behavioural problems he blames on mefloquine, said he was administered the drug once a week for at least a year in the early 1990s during deployments to Somalia and Rwanda.


Veteran Christian McEachern joins three others during protest in front of the Canadian Forces Recruiting office in downtown Calgary on Thursday July 13, 2017. The group were voicing their opinion on the military’s use of a malaria drug. Jim Wells/Postmedia JIM WELLS / JIM WELLS/POSTMEDIA


Soon after those doses, Bona said his moods became more irrational and aggressive, and over time led to depression and symptoms akin to PTSD.

“The longer I stayed on the drug, the worse the symptoms became,” said Bona, 49, a former member of Canada’s Airborne Regiment.

“I almost shot my section commander.”

Some veterans and physicians believe one-time Airborne regiment soldier Clayton Matchee, accused of torturing and killing Somali Shidane Arone in 1993, was suffering from the drug’s side effects that also led him to attempt suicide.  

The military has recently relegated use of mefloquine — which it says has been given to about 18,000 of its soldiers — to one of rare use, to only those who’ve been administered it in the past and shown no adverse effects.

Bona is demanding the government stop its use entirely, reach out to veterans who might be suffering its effects to provide better treatment, and to conduct research on its effects.

An official with Veterans Affairs Canada said those who can prove they’re suffering PTSD symptoms, including ones possibly caused by mefloquine, receive benefits.

Research isn’t something carried out by the department but could be by other ministries, he added.

Bona’s requests are reasonable, especially given the scope of the mefloquine problem, said Dr. Remington Nevin, a Maryland-based epidemiologist who once served in the U.S. military.

“Mefloquine is a very dangerous medication and regulators around the world have required very stringent warnings about its use,” he said.

He said huge numbers of soldiers suffering from the effects of the drug have been misdiagnosed with PTSD, with government refusing to fully acknowledge that partly to avoid costly liability.

“When people realize the scope of this, they will be shocked,” he said.

“This is the next Agent Orange.”

Bona said he’s organizing a Parliament Hill protest involving veterans on Sept. 19.

BKaufmann@postmedia.com


http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/this-is-the-next-agent-orange-veterans-protest-militarys-use-of-anti-malarial-drug

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Veterans protest military's use of anti-malarial drug

Post by Guest on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 05:51

'This is the next Agent Orange': Veterans protest military's use of anti-malarial drug


BILL KAUFMANN July 13, 2017


(L-R) Veterans Todd Gilman, Dana Johnson, Dave Bona and Christian McEachern protest in front of the Canadian Forces Recruiting office in downtown Calgary on Thursday July 13, 2017. The group were voicing their opinion on the military's use of a malaria drug. Jim Wells/Postmedia Jim Wells, Jim Wells/Postmedia

Canadian veterans are stepping up their opposition to the military’s continued use of the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, widely blamed for neurological disorders.


Outside a downtown Calgary armed forces recruitment office, 14-year military veteran Dave Bona protested what he calls Ottawa’s failure to address the problems stemming from years of mefloquine injections in hot climate conflict zones such as those in Africa.

But Bona said he’s using his efforts travelling throughout western Canada this summer to educate veterans who might be suffering from exposure to the drug and not know it.

“We want to raise awareness, there are so many veterans who have been misdiagnosed with PTSD,” he said.

But he’s also drawing attention to a pair of reports issued to the country’s surgeon general and Health Canada stating there’s no conclusive evidence mefloquine causes permanent or long-lasting psychiatric or neurological damage.


“Based on the surgeon general’s report, I will not be able to receive treatment,” said Bona, who becomes progressively angrier as he speaks about the government reports.

“You’re supposed to look out for your soldiers, you don’t sanitize a report so your government can save a few bucks,” he said.

The man, court-martialled in 2000 for behavioural problems he blames on mefloquine, said he was administered the drug once a week for at least a year in the early 1990s during deployments to Somalia and Rwanda.


Veteran Christian McEachern joins three others during protest in front of the Canadian Forces Recruiting office in downtown Calgary on Thursday July 13, 2017. The group were voicing their opinion on the military’s use of a malaria drug.

Soon after those injections, Bona said his moods became more irrational and aggressive, and over time led to depression and symptoms akin to PTSD.

“The longer I stayed on the drug, the worse the symptoms became,” said Bona, 49, a former member of Canada’s Airborne Regiment.

“I almost shot my section commander.”

Some veterans and physicians believe one-time Airborne regiment soldier Clayton Matchee, accused of torturing and killing Somali Shidane Arone in 1993, was suffering from the drug’s side effects that also led him to attempt suicide.

The military has recently relegated use of mefloquine — which it says has been given to about 18,000 of its soldiers — to one of rare use, to only those who’ve been administered it in the past and shown no adverse effects.

Bona is demanding the government stop its use entirely, reach out to veterans who might be suffering its effects to provide better treatment, and to conduct research on its effects.

An official with Veterans Affairs Canada said those who can prove they’re suffering PTSD symptoms, including ones possibly caused by mefloquine, receive benefits.

Research isn’t something carried out by the department but could be by other ministries, he added.

Bona’s requests are reasonable, especially given the scope of the mefloquine problem, said Dr. Remington Nevin, a Maryland-based epidemiologist who once served in the U.S. military.

“Mefloquine is a very dangerous medication and regulators around the world have required very stringent warnings about its use,” he said.

He said huge numbers of soldiers suffering from the effects of the drug have been misdiagnosed with PTSD, with government refusing to fully acknowledge that partly to avoid costly liability.

“When people realize the scope of this, they will be shocked,” he said.

“This is the next Agent Orange.”

Bona said he’s organizing a Parliament Hill protest involving veterans on Sept. 19.

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/this-is-the-next-agent-orange-veterans-protest-militarys-use-of-anti-malarial-drug

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MPs say Ottawa should reach out to soldiers who took mefloquine

Post by Guest on Wed 21 Jun 2017, 06:20

MPs say Ottawa should reach out to soldiers who took mefloquine


GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017 8:20PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017 8:20PM EDT


Veterans Affairs Canada should contact former military members who were sent to Somalia, Rwanda and other countries in the 1990s to determine if soldiers who took the anti-malaria drug mefloquine now need mental or physical services, a Commons committee says.

The veterans’ affairs committee, which on Tuesday released a report after nine months of studying veterans’ mental health, also recommends the department co-operate with researchers who are willing to study the effects of the drug, which some veterans say gave them permanent brain damage.

But Conservatives and a New Democrat who hold a minority of seats on the committee say the report does not adequately portray the effect of mefloquine on veterans and their families, and that the Liberal majority’s recommendations are too weak.

Both of the opposition parties wrote supplementary reports saying the government should ask an independent body to establish or rule out a connection between the drug and the actions of Master Corporal Clayton Matchee and Private Kyle Brown in Somalia in March of 1993 that ended in the beating death of Somali teenager Shidane Arone.

They want the government to initiate a long-term study of the neurotoxicity of mefloquine – the Department of National Defence recently concluded there is no evidence it causes permanent neurological and psychiatric problems despite the anecdotal evidence from Canadian vets and concerns expressed by armed forces around the world.

And the Conservatives say the government should inform the veterans of their exposure, let them know Health Canada has reclassified the drug to say its side effects are permanent in some cases and tell them how to get help.

The committee started out examining the mental health of veterans, but “if you look at the testimony we received, and some of the briefs we received as well, almost a third of what we heard during this report as public testimony dealt with the issue of mefloquine,” said John Brassard, a Conservative MP from Ontario.

That included testimony from veterans such as John Dowe, who recounted what happened in Somalia on the night Mr. Arone was killed and forced committee members to wonder whether mefloquine was to blame, Mr. Brassard said. “We couldn’t ignore that.”

Irene Mathyssen, the NDP member of the committee, said answers are required about what happened in Somalia, where soldiers were ordered to take the anti-malarial as part of an unorthodox and poorly run clinical trial by the Department of National Defence and Health Canada.

“There is so much contradictory information,” Ms. Mathyssen said. “We heard so much impassioned testimony from people who had been there, people who had suffered.”

A spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr said his office is reviewing the committee’s report in detail “and we will respond to each recommendation to ensure that veterans and their families have the care and support they need, when and where they need it.”

It would be difficult, if not impossible, for Mr. Hehr’s department to find everyone who has taken mefloquine, as recommended by the committee, because Veterans Affairs does not have the medical records of former military personnel who are not enrolled as clients. But that information may exist at National Defence.

Last fall, the military’s Surgeon General surveyed the medical literature about mefloquine. Although he concluded that the long-term negative effects have not been proven, he decided that the Canadian Forces would no longer offer the drug as a first option for preventing the disease during deployments to regions where malaria is present.

The Conservatives say: “the Surgeon General’s report was not strong enough in its rebuke of mefloquine.”

Veterans told the committee they experienced debilitating mood issues, sleep disorders, aggression, depression and memory loss as a result of mefloquine toxicity, sometimes lasting long after their deployment.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mps-say-ottawa-should-reach-out-to-soldiers-who-took-mefloquine/article35404742/




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