For nearly 25 years, the cries of former soldiers given a controversial anti-malaria drug while serving in East Africa with the now defunct Canadian Airborne Regiment have fallen on deaf ears.

The federal government has largely dismissed some veterans who contend the drug Mefloquine is responsible for the country’s national disgrace known as the Somalia Affair and for their long-lasting psychological and neurological issues — side effects now acknowledged by some of Canada’s allies and the drug’s maker.

But the former paratroopers and their family members are finally being heard thanks to a few Conservative MPs — members of a House of Commons standing committee — who listened intently to their testimony during hearings last fall.