THERE have been calls for the Ministry of Defence to do more to protect service personnel from long-term injuries caused by prolonged exposure to wet, cold conditions.

A firm of solicitors representing people affected by Non-Freezing Cold Injuries (NFCIs) say it has established through its own case data and Freedom of Information requests that hundreds of compensation claims are lodged every year with the MoD for health problems linked to the condition – and cases are rising.

NFCIs affects the hands and feet and can cause chronic pain, numbness and swelling and affects a person’s ability to use their hands and feet.

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The solicitors firm, Bolt Burdon Kemp claims it is a preventable injury, but can have a lasting impact on careers and family life, with soldiers most often medically downgraded or discharged from duty as they can no longer take part in outdoor activities.

The condition disproportionately affects those from Commonwealth backgrounds.

One former serviceman, Abdoulie Jallow, 28, was recently awarded compensation for NFCIs suffered on a routine military training exercise in North Yorkshire.

In 2012, while stationed at Catterick Garrison, he took part in a three day exercise in wet and freezing conditions which involved camping outside. He didn’t receive a cold weather kit usually provided to Commonwealth soldiers until after the exercise.

He says he now suffers from numbness and pins and needles in his hands and legs and can no longer take part in outdoor activities.

An MOD spokesperson said: “Our people get regular training and education as well as the right kit for cold conditions.”