MACC was officially launched on Friday, 29th
January, 2010 by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr
Kenneth Grech, at the Medical School Auditorium, Mater Dei Hospital,
Msida. The Chairperson of MACC, Notary Dr Mary Grech Pace introduced the
meeting with a background on what led to the formation of the
Association. She also spoke on the aims and future plans of the MACC.
Dr Kenneth Grech said that the government
supports and looks forward to work together with the Association for the
benefit of patients. He said that the contribution of Associations like
MACC was very important in policy making and reforms plans. He also
mentioned that improved treatment of sufferers of these conditions,
collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), also has
Other speakers in the launch were Dr Mario J
Vassallo, Chairman of the Department of Medicine (MDH), Dr. Thomas
Attard, Consultant Paediatrician (MDH) and Valerie Vella, Senior
Clinical Pharmacist, also from Mater Dei Hospital.
Dr Vassallo spoke amongst others on the
importance of IBD in the light of increasing incidence of IBD especially
in Southern Europe. Dr Vassallo said that through MACC, patients could
share common concerns and empower them to improve relations with
doctors. Apart from raising awareness on IBD, the association will
represent patients in dealing with government, health professions and
Dr Attard spoke on future trends in
diagnosis and treatment of IBD. With the goals of treatment being the
remission and maintenance of the disease, the diagnosis requires a
multidisciplinary approach. Therefore doctors, psychologists,
pharmacists, the family and work/ school environment are all involved.
Ms Valerie Vella said that in Malta there
were currently 1600 patients getting treatment for IBD. However the
number of patients is on increase. The prevalence of the disease is 400/
100,000 which is similar to that in the UK.