Lariam, Peace Corps Volunteers, Workers Comp/Disability

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Special Reports: June 6, 2002 - Peace Corps Volunteers and Lariam: Lariam, Peace Corps Volunteers, Workers Comp/Disability

By jeanne lese ( - on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - 2:55 pm: Edit Post

Lariam Action USA has been hearing for years from RPCVs who suffer long-term physical and psych problems associated with toxic reactions to the antimalarial drug lariam (mefloquine). They were healthy before they entered the Peace Corps and were given Lariam. Many were medevacked out. Many have been trying without luck to get workers comp or disability payments.

As of May 31, 2006, we are working with two RPCVs who need help with their medical problems and with getting compensation. They are sick and broke. Do you have any advice for these RPCVs? They need tips on dealing with red tape at Workers Comp. They are unable to work . They need assistance from the government until they are well enough to work again. Please contact if you know any
1) doctors anywhere who can help with Lariam toxicity diagnosis
2) individuals who have successfully received workers comp after becoming ill while serving in the Peace Corps
3) information about getting disability -- please indicate your state.

Anything you can offer to help us help RPCVs would be much appreciated.
Jeanne Lese, Co-director, Lariam Action USA

By CarmenBailey ( - on Thursday, June 01, 2006 - 12:14 am: Edit Post

Hello Jeanne;

I am a RPCV of 20 years. I donít have experience with
Larium, having contracted malaria before the advent of
Larium [to my knowledge] but I have much experience
with getting Workers Comp, and with a specific kind of
medicine which brought me over the thresh hold of death
or insanity three years later.

A partial account of the above is located in the PCOL library
under malaria. Murderous and slanderous documents exist
in the website edition of the same chapters. I do not use
the title in correspondence because it is deleted from my
outgoing mail.

The doctor who brought me back to life, taught at
TCOM in Ft Worth Tx until 1989 when he moved to a
clinic in one of the large cities in California. I donít know
if he is still there or if he teaches in Pennsylvania. His
name is Johannes Steenkamp DO, with many degrees.

I am glad to correspond more on this matter. If you do not
hear from an email you sent, put your message on PCOL.

Carmen Bailey

By Anonymous ( - on Thursday, June 01, 2006 - 9:19 pm: Edit Post

This is not good advice. Because there is no good advice for this question. Thousands of volunteers have fallen victim to this type of medical malaise. It is a shame and Peace Corps won't even ansewer your calls on it. They send you into the Department of Labor abyss, where people who are not medical people deal with your claim, they never served overseas and are generally horrible to volunteers filing claims. Furthermore,Peace Corps will send them their file which will have nothing about Lariam being dangerous and the DOL will defend them. That will leave your friends broke and without health care again.

The National Peace Corps Association will not help.

Peace Corps Partners in Arizona will help you with the bureaucracy. They have help many. Maybe they can help.

Call their local Senator or Congressman and start a constuient file for them to advocate for them. Sometimes they help and sometimes they don't. Most of the time, they don't.

Also, call Senators and congressmen on committees where the budget of Peace Corps falls.
Such as Foreign Operations and Senators who have been involved with reform such as Dewine, Meehan, Congressman Hyde and others. Give it a try.

There is always court. Look up Doris Wisher's case against Coverdell. She had to get an attorney.

Attorney's will take Federal Comp cases because they possibly will get money from the client which is your friends.

There is some advice.

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