Lariam

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:18 pm on 27th October 2016.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 3:18 pm, 27th October 2016

We most certainly did; but that also shows the inertia in the Ministry of Defence. We heard from many personnel—either individually or as a Committee—at different ranks within the MOD. The matter was not something that was not known about, but it was not being tackled or recognised as a major problem for serving personnel.

Finally, and most tragically, we heard from many individuals who suffered severe long-term effects from taking Lariam. Long after leaving the military, they are still suffering such things as mental trauma, vivid dreams and suicide ideation. That is totally unacceptable. We sought to establish what support was on offer for them from the MOD as it became clear that arrangements were somewhat fragmented. We recommended the establishment of a single point of contact, which we felt was particularly important for veterans, some of whom have experienced mental health problems for years.

Having seen what happened in the previous debate, when the vice-chair of the Committee could not be called to speak owing to time restrictions, I shall now leave it to my colleagues to expand further on the report and evidence. We look forward to hearing from the Minister that further progress has been made.