It takes an army of medical professionals to help our country get through the COVID-19, and they all deserve a show of support. But this week, Newspoint would like to give thanks to another figure leading these heroes at this time of need.
Chairman of the Department of Pathology, Dr Christopher Barbara, who is also a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, might not be in the limelight all the time, but he is one of those individuals who have been instrumental in keeping us well-informed and shrewd, with calm judgement.
Some of his colleagues, who have been working alongside him through good times and bad, had this to say about Dr Barbara:
Prof. Ing. Savour Zammit, Pro-Rector for Research & Knowledge Transfer
The University of Malta is proud that its academics, time and time again, rise to the occasion when called to serve their country.
Prof. Stephen Montefort, Head of Department of Medicine and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Surgery
I have known Chris for over 30 years and so it does not surprise me that he has been pivotal in the very organised screening of patients for COVID-19 which has helped immensely in the limitation of infectious spread through eventual quarantine and contact tracing of patients.
Dr Barbara has also contributing immensely towards the public perception of this crisis in a very commendable way. Without causing untoward anxiety in the population, he has driven home the importance of decreased social contact and washing of hands through his appearances in the media.
Prof. Alexander Gatt, Head of the Department of Pathology
I have known Dr Barbara, or Chris as everyone calls him, since I was a student more than 25 years ago. For the past 10 years, I got to know him better as the Chair of our department of Pathology at Mater Dei Hospital. He has a calm and gentle personality.
However, if I had to describe him in one word, it would be resourceful, in my opinion. He is playing a crucial part in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta. Firstly, his expert role in the rapid setting up of the test used to detect COVID-19 was very important, and secondly, his truthful messages on the media and also within our groups at university and MDH were also reassuring.
Prof. Charles Scerri, Associate Professor at the Department of Pathology
It is through moments like these that the strongest will emerge. There is no doubt that Malta is in safe hands knowing that Dr Barbara is there, on the front-line, armed with his academic wisdom and trusted, reassuring voice.