The ITAMA_CAP project, funded from the INTERREG V-A Italia-Malta program, will be targeting communities coming from Sicily and Malta. Using a multidisciplinary approach, ITAMA_CAP aims to:
- Apply on a regional (Sicily) / national (Malta) scale the procedures and tools developed and validated with ITAMA
- Further increase the database collected with ITAMA
- Highlight the expected submerged percentage of the celiac population and any differences in the prevalence of adults/children
- Explore the possibility of avoiding biopsy where possible also on the adult population
As part of the project, a screening programme is going to be set up to detect the condition before the symptoms develop, allowing early treatment and a better quality of life for affected students. The programme will take place in 2023 and will focus on students aged between 12 and 18 years attending all schools of Malta and Gozo (state, church, independent). All participation costs are covered by the project, hence there are no costs involved either for the schools or the children being tested.
A few weeks before the test, an information document will be sent by schools to parents/guardians of students within this age group containing information about celiac disease and how parents/guardians can give their consent/register their child to take part in this study. Online registration will include a set of questions related to symptoms and health history of the student or immediate relatives. Only those students whose parents/guardians have registered their child will proceed to be tested.
Specially trained personnel will be visiting the school of the student and will retrieve the student’s Candidate Number and Questionnaire data from the database where the student has been registered and consent has been given. They will call out the student’s candidate number and the student will then hand the email the parent/guardian received when registering the student, which also contains the Candidate Number, to this person. Once this is verified, the test will be carried out. The test takes only a couple of seconds and just involves taking a small drop of blood from the student’s finger (a special device will be used for this purpose). The test will give either a positive or negative result and the parent/guardian will be informed of the result via email. If the result is positive, the student will be offered further testing at the hospital as an out-patient. Participants may opt to drop out at any point in this exercise.
The project has been granted permission by the ethics board and all schools are highly encouraged to participate for the benefit of their own students.
Focus IN CD – an Interreg Central Europe Project from 2019
Interreg Central Europe is a cohesion policy programme of the European Union (EU) and part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). With a total funding budget of 246 million €, it encourages and supports cooperation beyond borders and between public and private organisations. Interreg CE projects fall into four different thematic priorities, comprising Innovation, Low Carbon, Culture & Environment, and Transport.
We would like to highlight the outputs of one of the projects under this programme: "Focus IN CD - Innovative patient centred health care services - advantages of establishing a close CE network in celiac disease patient health care", No. CE111, which belonged to the priority Innovation. With a funding of nearly 1.9 Mio € it aimed to substantially improve and harmonize the care of people with coeliac disease in Central Europe, which is why we believe it’s important for us to share it with our followers. Twelve partners from Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia were actively involved in this outstanding initiative.
One of the main aspects of this project was the development of online tools, particularly eLearning courses to empower patients or parents of children with coeliac disease and also to increase the knowledge about this chronic condition for health care professionals as physicians and dietitians. We invite you to explore the learning modules to learn more about coeliac disease and become an expert! Follow the courses free of charge on www.celiacfacts.eu.
For more information about the project, you may refer to their website: Focus IN CD - Interreg (interreg-central.eu)
ITAMA_CAP project overview by Lead Partner
Presentation including the project overview by the lead partnerDownload Presentation