Past pandemics and epidemics in Malta, their repercussions and eradication, will be the central theme of a feature in English entitled “Plagues, Pandemics, Prevention and Mitigation – A Recurring History”, that Heritage Malta will stream on Facebook on Thursday, 8th April, at 6.30pm.

Highlighting the relevance of archival documents and research, and how these have influenced current mitigation measures against Covid-19, the 20-minute documentary will take viewers on a swift journey through the ages, not only to catch a glimpse of local life during past pandemics, epidemics and various contagious diseases but also to gain some insight into how our health authorities have tackled them across the centuries.

Starting with a brief history of pandemics and epidemics in the Maltese islands, such as the plague and the Spanish Flu, the feature also describes how disease triggered the Knights of St John to develop a better healthcare system and adopt more effective quarantine measures through the setting up of a permanent lazzaretto on Manoel Island.

The Second World War also features prominently in the documentary, narrating how the rumours preceding it led to the fear of another outbreak and how the health authorities prepared for that contingency. Viewers will also discover our forefathers’ reactions to the vaccines offered at the time, as documented in letters published in contemporary newspapers.


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