Follow & Connect

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2 Responses to Follow & Connect

  1. Only a short reference I know, but the following is a snippet from my book ‘On Afghanistan’s Plains’, highlighting my experience at Kajaki in 2007:

    “I’m faced with a broad range of ailments: these include boils and abscesses in embarrassing places, haemorrhoids, diarrhoea, a sexually-transmitted infection, and an episode of acute (but thankfully mild) psychosis caused by the anti-malarial drug Mefloquine, which was given to most of the men from C Company as chemo-prophylaxis while on pre-deployment training in Kenya.”

    The soldier in question was a section commander who was experiencing auditory hallucinations in which he believed his subordinates were conspiring against him. This man admitted to feeling out of control and was concerned that he would ‘lose the plot’ and kill his men (in this forward location, weapons and ammunition were freely available). I immediately swapped his Lariam for nivaquine and paludrine. Fortunately this NCO realised that he was hallucinating and reported sick immediately, had he not done so, the incident might have had a very different outcome.

    I deployed to Sierra Leone in 2000, and took Lariam without too many problems. I experienced the most vivid and bizarre dreams, but more worrying were the mood swings.I recall unloading a trailer full of equipment with some colleagues. As we were doing so, I had an overwhelming and quite irrational urge to start hitting the soldiers I was working with. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to remove myself from the situation.

    On the same tour of duty, a friend of mine had a negligent discharge of his rifle. Whilst there is no evidence that could attribute this to the Lariam, the fact that we were taking a known psychoactive medication in an operational environment beggars belief. Especially as malarone was at that stage readily available (but far more expensive).

    Barry Alexander

    Liked by 1 person

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