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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Malaria. BBC News discovers truth about Malaria treatment - after 30 years?

Malaria is a controversial disease! The conventional medical establishment believes that it can both prevent and treat it with their drugs. But it denies the claims of Homeopathy that it is a safer and more effective treatment, and has attacked homeopaths about these claims for several years.

This is one of the reasons why my blog "The Prevention and Treatment of Malaria with Homeopathy" is one of the most visited on this website! I remember still the disgracefully biased BBC Newsnight programme, broadcast on 4th January 2011, in which Kirsty Wark described conventional pharmaceutical drug treatment for Malaria as 'proper medicine'.

Well, let's have another look at the 'proper' medical treatment of Malaria!

On 17th August 2015, BBC News reported that a conservative MP, Johnny Mercer, had called for an immediate ban of a 'controversial'  malaria drug given to British soldiers.

Well, if the drug in question, Mefloquine, or Lariam, is controversial it is not because the BBC has ever told us about the controversy! Mercer is reported as saying that he has received dozens of letters from service personnel claiming they have become affected since taking it. Their article states that the side effects of Mefloquine have been linked to "severe depression and other mental illnesses". (The BBC forgot to mention other 'side effects' like adverse heart, kidney, liver, skin, reactions, seizures, insomnia, visual disturbances, tinnitis, impaired balance, and severe skin lesions. And perhaps the BBC did not have room to mention that the 'mental illnesses' included depression, acute anxiety, mania, aggression, rage, psychosis, confusion and memory loss, suicide, and brain damage.

Did I hear you say that you did not know this? Well, the BBC may not have mentioned it before, perhaps an oversight on their part (?) The drug was presumably one of Kirsty Wark's favoured 'proper' drugs! 

Yet any cursory investigation will show that the information has been around for a very long time now.
  • 1991. The World Health Organisation published a paper detailing the "severe and alarming neurological and psychiatric side effects of Lariam". The paper made recommendations for future studies - which we never carried out.
  • 22 Jan 1996. Times article. "Travellers to sue over effects of anti-malaria drug".
  • 4 April 1998. Times article by Matthew Pariss, "I think I would rather have Malaria", describing the mental and physical adverse reactions he suffered after taking Lariam.
  • 2001. RCT trials conducted 15 travel clinics in the Netherlands, Germany,Britain, Canada, and South Africa was published comparing Lariam with another anti-malarial drug (Malarone), unfavourably.
  • 2003. The British Medical Journal published Swiss research comparing Lariam with three other anti-malarial drugs, unfavourably.
  • July and August 2003. The WDDTY Magazine (What Doctor's Don't Tell You) article stating that the USA drug regulator, the FDA, had asked doctors to give face-to-face warnings to patients that the drug caused "serious and significant public health concerns” after several US troops returned home, killed their wives and themselves.
  • May 2004. WDDTY Magazine article stating that the USA army had launched a study into the side-effects of the drug which was linked to suicides among their troops in Iraq who had taken it.
In fact, as this webpage outlines, studies reporting the serious adverse reactions caused by this drug go back to 1983, and media references to these adverse reactions go back to 1996.

Yet, when asked about the MP's call to ban the drug, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that mefloquine's use was "based on expert advice", and that the drug was widely used by civilians and military. So it would appear that the MoD was about as 'on-the-ball' as the BBC in these respect! They have both needed over 30 years to become aware of the dangers of Lariam! During this time, many thousands soldiers will have suffered damage to their lives and health on the basis of the MoD's 'expert advice.

And the BBC has allowed many thousands of patients have had their lives damaged by this 'proper medicine', presumably too busy attacking homeopathy to examine the evidence against it.

If homeopathy offered patients anything as dangerous as Mefloquine, or Lariam (and it hasn't), the BBC would rightly be castigating it, and asking serious questions. When will the BBC begin to question the conventional medical establishment?