The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Caritas Malta inaugurates new drug rehabilitation centre for women at San Blas

Wednesday, 18 May 2016, 17:33 Last update: about 6 years ago

Caritas Malta today officially inaugurated a new block for girls and women undergoing drug rehabilitation treatment. The 13-bed building in San Blas is named Et Iris, which is Latin for ‘rainbow.’

Director Leonid McKay said Caritas Malta has offered rehabilitation services to women for the past 30 years but a new centre was badly needed. The centre, he said, offered an adequate setting for providing the service.

Statistics showed an increase in the number of women who resorted to Caritas services. 18 women passed through the structural programme in 2015. Some of the residents were admitted to the programme while serving sentences at the Corradino prison or while receiving care at Mount Carmel Hospital’s Dual Diagnosis Unit.

Mr McKay introduced the member of the Rehabilitation Foundation’s Board of Directors; President Emeritus George Abela, Anġlu Fenech, Joe Gatt, Mario Grech, Franco Masini, Prof Janet Mifsud, Maurice Xuereb and Winston Zahra.

The Caritas Malta director also thanked Anthony Gatt, who is the coordinator of drug rehabilitation programmes, Nancy Scerri, who leads the women’s programme and all staff at the centre.

He also thanked architect Karl Ebejer, Dr Luke Frendo and designer Sean Mayl. Mr McKay also thanked the Xarabank team, who had dedicated a programme to raise funds for the building, and all those who had donated.

Social Solidarity Minister Michael Farrugia inaugurated the building, which was blessed by Mgr. Victor Grech.

Dr Farrugia said the number of women in rehabilitation care had tripled between 2009 and 2013. This was thanks to the introduction of specialized, gender specific treatment.

The next challenge for government and society was to provide the necessary aftercare and to reintegrate people into society once they had completed their rehabilitation programmes.

The Minister said that between 2011 and 2014, 86%-89% of those seeking care had previously sought similar treatments. This showed that a batter aftercare service was needed to make programmes more effective.

Dr Farrugia hoped that the opening of the new centre would encourage more women to come forward and seek help.


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