Malta: Completion of the projects

Article, 24.07.2015

The installation of a modern tomograph in the public hospital in Malta affords access to improved cancer diagnosis for the general public. In addition, 60 young diplomats from North Africa and the Middle East have deepened their knowledge of human rights, governance and democracy in the master's degree programme offered at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC). These are the results of the two projects in Malta that are completed now.

Young men and women from North African and the Middle East
Swiss support for the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) has strengthened Malta's role as a mediator and bridge-builder between Europe and North Africa. MEDAC

Malta is the first country where the Swiss EU-enlargement contribution programme has been completed. The two projects have met their targets and can be assessed as very good in terms of their impact and sustainability. 

Improved cancer diagnosis

Since the installation of the tomograph in the "Mater Dei" public hospital at the beginning of 2013, approximately 10,000 scans have been carried out. The PET/CT scanner (Positron emission tomography/X-ray computed tomography) facilitates early and precise cancer diagnosis, which offers improved treatment of the disease and thus a better quality of life for patients. In Malta, this technology has only been available in private clinics until now. Otherwise patients had to travel abroad. Both of these options were unaffordable to many Maltese people.

Maltese radiologists have enhanced their knowledge of the PET/CT scanner thanks to the transfer of knowledge and experience with the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI), of the regional hospital in Bellinzona. Switzerland co-funded the purchase of the PET/CT scanner in Malta with a contribution of CHF 2.79 million, thus substantially improving cancer diagnosis for the Maltese people. Now, following the completion of the project, maintenance and personnel costs will be taken over in full by Malta's public health system. 

Peace and stability in the Mediterranean region

Swiss support for the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) has strengthened Malta's role as a mediator and bridge-builder between Europe and North Africa. Thanks to the availability of scholarships, in the period between 2010 and 2014, 60 young diplomats from North Africa and the Middle East have acquired important knowledge about human rights, democracy and governance through a master's degree programme. Establishing the alumni network will encourage contact between the academy graduates and with it collaboration between the Mediterranean countries.

The Swiss professorial chair at the academy has strengthened the partnership between Switzerland and Malta, and Swiss visiting lecturers have had the opportunity to teach at the MEDAC. In the 2010 to 2014 period Switzerland provided financial support to the MEDAC of CHF 1.9 million from Switzerland's EU-enlargement contribution. Switzerland and Malta have maintained a long-standing partnership to promote peace and stability in the Mediterranean region. They jointly founded the MEDAC in 1990. Switzerland and Malta will continue to work together now that the project is over.

Information on Malta

Malta is an island state in the Mediterranean Sea with a population of 425,000 and a surface area of 316km2. It joined the EU in 2004 and is the smallest member state. Per capita GDP is approximately euro 18,500, which is below the EU average of euro 28,300 (source: Eurostat, 2014). Switzerland supported two projects in Malta from 2010 as part of its contribution to the EU enlargement with an amount of CHF 4.8 million.