§ Mr. Keetch
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops deployed to Sierra Leone returning to the UK have so far been diagnosed as having signs of malaria; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hoon
[holding answer 9 June 2000]: As of 12 June, 27 cases of malaria had been confirmed among the 4,500 personnel who had been deployed to Sierra Leone; a further three unconfirmed cases had been admitted to hospital for investigation. No anti-malaria tablet guarantees 100 per cent. protection: mefloquine, the preferred anti-malaria drug for the Sierra Leone region, is estimated to afford only 90–95 per cent. protection against malaria. In West Africa, where rates of transmission for malaria are far higher than in any other region, some cases of malaria are to be expected. Therefore the number of cases confirmed are within the medically expected numbers.