Protection against malaria
I command the United Nations Command Security Battalion–Joint Security Area at Camp Bonifas, South Korea. For the nearly two years of my command, we thankfully have not seen a single malaria case.
We know malaria exists in our area of operations because a South Korean army battalion here confirmed 13 cases in 2008 and nine in 2009.
We live on the same camp with that battalion, and they support us daily in our mission to provide protection and security for the JSA in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.
Here is what I have done to protect myself and soldiers from malaria on our camp and at the DMZ and JSA: We began by dipping and spraying our Army combat uniforms in permethrin on April 15 to have two uniforms protected by May 1.
On the first Tuesday after April 15, two weeks prior to May 1, we began taking our anti-malarial medicine to allow it to fully protect us. The battalion takes the malaria medicine every Tuesday at our physical training formation under direct supervision. Our medical section provides assistance during this weekly event and every soldier signs for his pill and takes the pill immediately afterward, directly in front of the medical staff.
Wearing permethrin-impregnated uniforms and taking supervised anti-malarial medication are my keys to ensuring the prevention of malaria in the DMZ.
Lt. Col. John RhodesCamp Bonifas, South Korea