In 2013 Malta will have a holistic treatment centre for eating disorder patients. The centre which will be based at the ex-Sisters’ Quarters in Triq Dar il-Kaptan in Mtarfa, is expected to treat eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and obesity.
The initiative was taken by President of Malta George Abela on behalf of the Malta Community Chest Fund. While the Malta Community Chest Fund will finance the setup of the centre by a donation of €2 million, Government will be providing and funding a multidisciplinary team of experts to care for the patients at the Centre, called “Kenn għal Saħħtek”. The centre itself will be run by the Foundation Kenn għal Saħħtek, which was set up jointly by the Malta Community Chest Fund and the government.
A survey carried out by the National Statistics Office (NSO) shows that 0.9% of the 2,008 persons interviewed were currently suffering from an eating disorder while 2% suffered from an eating disorder in the past. Following the trends of other countries eating disorders are predominant among females, or 4.7% of the total interviewed. Males with eating disorders made up 1.2% of the constituency. 57% of the sufferers have an eating disorder such as binge eating, 13% suffered from bulimia and 34% from anorexia.
The aim of the centre will be to offer a four- to six-month residential programme that will help sufferers overcome their eating disorder. The centre will have 33 beds for this purpose, 19 dedicated to patients who are obese and 14 for anorexics and bulimics.
On advice of the experts, there will also be an outpatients department to follow the obese patients’ progress once they leave the centre and return to the community.
President Abela said that work will commence on the centre once Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) permits are issued. The centre was designed by Architect John Bondin and the turnkey project will be carried out by the winners of a tender that is presently open for anyone interested in undertaking the project.
The announcement of the Kenn Għal Saħħtek Centre was made at San Anton Palace in the presence of the Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Leader of the Opposition Joseph Muscat, Ministers Joseph Cassar and Jason Azzopardi and Parliamentary Secretary Mario Galea.
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