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May 19th

Featured

CARICOM Leaders Speak Out at the Seventy-third World Health Assembly #WHA73 - Highlighting NCD-COVID-19 Vulnerabilities

Photo: WHO
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the 73rd World Health Assembly is taking place virtually.

Bahamas Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Her Excellency Keva Bain, was elected president of the 73rd World Health Assembly, you can see her deliver her presidential address below.

The Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairman CARICOM delivered a powerful speech highlighting the Caribbean region's vulnerability due to high rates of NCDs and and underscoring the critical importance of addressing chronic diseases during and beyond COVID-19: "even with the pandemic we must not drop the ball on those other global health priorities that are critical to our overall development. I refer specifically to the chronic NCDs – the silent killers (diabetes and cardiovascular disease, hypertension)...For our populations these challenges remain real and continue to present a silent but real and present danger." See her speech here.

Also speaking at opening ceremony on Monday May 18, 2002 were the Hon. Dr. Hubert A Minnis, Prime Minister Of The Bahamas and the Hon. Molwyn Joseph Health Minister of Antigua and Barbuda also delivered a regional statement on behalf of the OECS and Barbados.

Click on the images below to see their speeches. 
Her Excellency Keva Bain
Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
Hon. Dr. Hubert A Minnis, Prime Minister Of The Bahamas
Hon. Molwyn Joseph Health Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

NCD Prevention and Treatment Is the Insurance Policy to Improve Population Health, as a Vital Basis for Health Security, and to Ensure That Such a Tragedy Never Happens Again

NCD Prevention and Treatment
Photo: NCD Alliance website
The NCD Alliance reaction statement on the WHA73 Resolution on COVID-19 response is a must read call to action for Member States across the globe to protect people living with NCDs during and post this pandemic.

"We now know that people living with NCDs such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease, as well as hypertension and obesity, are at much higher risk of suffering severe complications and dying from COVID-19.  COVID-19 obliges us all to learn important lessons - a failure to invest in health and NCDs is a failure to invest in a country's own security, stability and equity. Governments should learn from the pandemic to build back better."
Katie Dain, CEO NCD Alliance.

Read the NCDA statement and the WHA73 Resolution here.

WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs Statement at the WHA73

WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs Statement at the WHA73
Image: NCD Alliance
In the margin of the 73rd World Health Assembly of World Health Organisation, the Civil Society Working Group on NCDs has released the statement mentioned in the previous article, Sir Trevor, HCC President, is a member of the Working Group. 

Kindly Read it, act upon it and disseminate further to your networks via all platforms!

Thank you for your endless support by doing so!
Read the Statement

Empowering CSOs to Identify and Understand Conflict of Interest in the Caribbean

Empowering CSOs to Identify and Understand Conflict of Interest in the Caribbean
On Wednesday May 13th, 2020, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition hosted the first of two half-day virtual workshops aimed at building the capacity of civil society advocates to recognize, avoid, mitigate and manage conflicts of interest (COI), particularly within the context of healthy nutrition policy in the small developing states of the Caribbean. Fifty-four civil society advocates attended; there was representation from all over the region - The Bahamas in the North to Trinidad in the South representing the Barbados Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition and the HCC Civil Society Organisation Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Team.
 
This series of workshops is part of HCC’s broad agenda to address COI through a whole-of-society approach. In the context of NCD prevention and control, the negative impacts of corporate political activity are evident across all of the unhealthy commodities industries - tobacco, alcohol and food and beverage. The ultimate aim of managing COI is to protect the integrity and work of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and to safeguard public health policy by creating systems to identify, prevent, mitigate and manage COI within policymaking and policy-influencing spaces. Civil society advocates can be major influencers especially when empowered with the appropriate tools.
Read more

Being Innovative With Backyard Gardening

Using Aquaponics and Rainwater Harvesting to support healthy eating among persons living with NCDs in St. Lucia
Our region has been making commendable strides toward prioritizing food security, from Government-funded injections into agricultural sectors, to private and public collaborations to distribute seedlings to interested backyard gardeners. These examples are part of the whole of society approach needed to strengthen our region’s food system; this whole of society approach is the cornerstone of the Joint Statement issued by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition and the OECS Commission on April 15th, 2020. The government, private sector and civil society have a major role to play in enhancing food security and ultimately making healthy, nutritious foods more accessible. Supporting backyard gardening was one of the suggestions outlined in the Joint Statement to address the region’s food and nutrition security concerns.
Andrew Felix and Alex Alexander
Andrew Felix and Alex Alexander
In light of the current circumstances, enthusiastic backyard gardeners and famers have used the opportunity to expand and introduce innovative backyard gardening techniques to better support their communities. Mr. Andrew Felix, the President of the St. Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association, has always been an advocate for holistic health and wellbeing. In the COVID-era, he has also lent his passion and expertise in diet and nutrition to expanding backyard gardening initiatives in his community. 
Read more
We commend “Alex Happy Greens” team and all who have taken the initiative to enhance household or community food security. These individual and community level initiatives paired with the government, private sector and civil society’s dedication to supporting the provision of healthy foods, particularly to those who are most vulnerable, through policies and programming is critical during this time.
Backyard Gardening Tip #6
Read more
Follow HCC’s social media platforms for some helpful tips to get your backyard garden started and let us know what you are doing in your communities!

#HomeGardeningTips #Beatchildhoodobesity #Boostimmunesystem
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COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19
HCC COVID-19 Webpage

OECS Report: COVID-19 and Beyond: Impact Assessments and Responses

An economic and social impact assessment evaluating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on economies and populations of OECS Member States. 
OECS Report: COVID-19 and Beyond: Impact Assessments and Responses
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has already inflicted a high cost on populations around the world. Preliminary assessments suggest that the economic impact of COVID-19 is likely to be more severe than the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. This impact is likely to be more pronounced on developing countries. OECS Member States have already experienced considerable economic damage from the pandemic and are likely to face a challenging recovery. Against this background, the OECS Commission has prepared this report for the consideration of Member States as they adjust to the crisis and consider a path to recovery.
Read more

Single Mom Affected by COVID-19 Shutdown Gets Assistance From Heart Foundation

Single Mom Affected by COVID-19 Shutdown Gets Assistance From Heart Foundation
Tamara Wright (right), Public Relations and Communications Officer at The Heart Foundation of Jamaica hands over donations and packages to mother of three
Photo:HFJ
Jamaica Observer: The Heart Foundation of Jamaica says it was available to provide a single mother of three, who has been negatively impacted by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some much needed assistance.

According to the foundation, the mother, who is currently unemployed, made contact through social media seeking help to provide for her family.
Read more

Don’t Put Your Health on the Back Burner

President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados, Trudy Griffith
President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados, Trudy Griffith
Photo: Barbados Advocate
Barbados Advocate: President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados, Trudy Griffith, is urging persons living with diabetes not to put their health on the back burner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within the context of COVID-19, Griffith said while there has been a link made between adverse outcomes and persons who have diabetes, the “uncontrolled” element has been lost.

In fact, she said greater effort must be made to ensure that their diabetes is under control, particularly now and not to hesitate when medical attention is needed.
Read more

Sagicor Salutes Healthcare Heroes

Sagicor Salutes Healthcare Heroes
Sagicor is pleased to announce the launch of the first of its Heroes Series, the Sagicor Healthcare Heroes Group Insurance Plan.

President and CEO of Sagicor Life Inc, Ravi Rambarran said, “The COVID-19 virus has reinforced how dependent we are on each other. We recognize that heroes don’t just exist in movies but live with us. Our heroes are on the frontline and include those in the health care, food, transportation, sanitation and protective services.”

He continued, “We believe that consistent with our vision of improving the lives of the community in which we operate, it is our duty to recognize our heroes.”
Read more
Thank the COVID-19 Frontline workers

COVID-19 and Fibroids: Tips for Self-Care & Managing Stress

COVID-19 and Fibroids: Tips for Self-Care & Managing Stress
Image: Mariana Ndrio
Lake Health and Wellbeing: Written by Mariana Ndrio a second-year medical student at the University of Medicine & Health Sciences (UMHS) in St. Kitts. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prompt stressful changes to our daily routine and lifestyle, health-related worries regarding ourselves and loved ones have undoubtedly intensified. While the growing uncertainties stemming from financial difficulties and social isolation impact the health and personal decision-making of everyone across the globe, women suffering from uterine fibroids are facing unprecedented challenges in their attempts to preserve their mental and physical wellbeing.
Read more
See the accompanying Infographic COVID-19 and Fibroids by Mariana here.

UN Policy Brief: COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health

UN Policy Brief: COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health
Although the COVID-19 crisis is, in the first instance, a physical health crisis, it has the seeds of a major mental health crisis as well, if action is not taken. Good mental health is critical to the functioning of society at the best of times. It must be front and centre of every country’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently. 
Read more
Stay Active
Promoting Healthy Movement
Image: The Lancet

Promoting Healthy Movement Behaviours Among Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Lancet: Global movement behaviour guidelines recommend that preschool children (aged 3-4 years) accumulate at least 180 min physical activity, engage in no more than 1 h sedentary screen time, and have 10-13 h good-quality sleep per day. For school-age children and adolescents (5–17 years), the recommendations are to participate in at least 60 min moderate-intensity to vigorous-intensity physical activity, engage in no more than 2 h sedentary recreational screen time, and have 9-11 h good-quality sleep each day. Read more
Physical Activity for Children
Photo by Valeria Ushakova from Pexels

Physical Activity for Children Under 5 Years During COVID-19: Play Your Way and Keep Moving While at Home

BMJ: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and for many parents of children under-5, life at home may be upside down, giving new meaning to the word ‘chaos’. Without childcare and facilities for under-5s, parents may feel overwhelmed, whether they were stay-at-home or working parents pre-COVID-19. Watching TV or playing on a tablet may be helpful solutions to entertain a restless toddler (1-2y) or pre-schooler (3-4y) Read more

Free Education Series From the Bahamas Agriculture & Marine Science Institute

Free Education Series
Read more

OECS Plans Regional Virtual Marketplace

OECS Plans Regional Virtual Marketplace
Photo: St Lucia News Online
St Lucia News Online: Plans for a regional virtual marketplace continue to be a key priority for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed many weaknesses in the region’s traditional food systems, presenting a unique opportunity to move towards greater sustainability and food and nutrition security. A common regional market will serve to promote better food security by reducing the reliance on imports from international food sources.
Read more
Guyana Can Aid Food Security in CARICOM
Photo: CARICOM

Guyana Can Aid Food Security in CARICOM

Guyana Chronicle: With CARICOM examining ways the Region can support itself during the global crisis, chairman of the National Coronavirus Task Force (NCTF), Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said Guyana has the advantage to boost food security in the Region.
Read more
Intra-Regional Trade Key to Creating CARICOM Food Security
Photo: TT Newsday file photo

Intra-Regional Trade Key to Creating CARICOM Food Security

TT Newsday: With the world having to close its borders for an uncertain period because of the restrictions for covid19, economies around the world, once dependent on trade and connectivity are grappling to figure out how to survive the effects of the virus and move forward. Read more
Related Media:

News

2020 Global Nutrition Report: Only four (4) CARICOM countries on track

2020 Global Nutrition Report
Image: UNICEF/Vishwanathan
Check out the 2020 Global Nutrition Report which paints a dismal picture of progress on tackling malnutrition in all of its forms in the Caribbean.  

Only four (4) CARICOM countries are on track to meet any of the global nutrition targets.  

Jamaica (of 50 countries globally) is on track to achieve 1/8 targets, Guyana and Haiti (of 35 countries globally) are on track to achieve 2/8 targets and Belize (of 8 countries globally) is on track to achieve 4/8 nutrition targets.

No country is on track to meet any more than 4/8 of the targets.

No country is on track to meet the obesity targets. 

You can access the 'Assessing progress against the global nutrition targets' section of the report here.
Read the Full Report

NCD Academy Lanched

NCD Academy Lanched
Image: NCD Alliance
Led by the American College of Cardiology, in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and NCD Alliance, and supported by Pfizer Upjohn, NCD Academy was born out of the realisation that novel strategies focused on integrated multidisciplinary training approaches which place technology at their centre are needed to strengthen the ecosystem of education, deployment, management and rewards for health workers at the primary care level.

The NCD Academy, a first of its kind partnership to equip providers at the front lines of patient care  - including clinicians, nurses, and community health workers -  with education available whenever, wherever, and at no cost.

NCD Academy will premiere with a course in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke prevention, already available via desktop and as an app on Apple Store and Google Play. With an integrated NCD approach, courses from other leading societies in clinical education will follow soon.
Read more

Chilean Policies Effectively Tackling Obesity

Lessons for the Caribbean
Chilean Policies Effectively Tackling Obesity
Recent studies of obesity prevention efforts implemented in Chile have found that consumers purchased fewer sugary drinks, while Chilean children saw less advertising and marketing of unhealthy food and drinks, thanks to a comprehensive food advertising and labeling law that went into effect in 2016. The three studies, published in peer-reviewed journals, underscore why Caribbean governments should strongly consider effective front-of- package warning labels and marketing restrictions as part of their obesity prevention efforts, says the Healthy Caribbean Coalition.
Chilean Policies Effectively Tackling Obesity
We have created fact-sheets that visualise and compare the implementation and successes of Chilean obesity prevention policies with the obesity situation in the Caribbean, click on the link below to find out more.
Read more

School Is a Really Good Place to Tackle Childhood Obesity: Study Measures Impact of Free School Meals on Obesity Rates

School Is a Really Good Place to Tackle Childhood Obesity
Photo: Food Navigator website
Food Navigator: Researchers have analysed the effects of the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) policy in English schools, to determine what effects the programme has on bodyweight. Children consume a large fraction of their food energy at school, which is why researchers at the University of Essex have to sought to understand what impact school lunches have on bodyweight.
Read more

Study: One Sugary Drink a Day Can Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Sugary Drink
Photo: Pixabay
Pioneer: Another study concludes that just one sugary drink a day can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Last year, researchers in France found even one small glass of soda or sugary juice can increase your chances of getting cancer or having heart problems.

Now, in a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, California researchers have found one serving daily of a sugary soft drink is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Read more

WHO and International Olympic Committee Team Up to Improve Health Through Sport

Improve Health Through Sport
Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash
WHO: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today signed an agreement to work together to promote health through sport and physical activity.

"I am pleased to formalize this longstanding partnership with the International Olympic Committee," said Dr Tedros Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "WHO works not only to respond to disease but also to help people realize their healthiest lives and this partnership will do exactly that. Physical activity is one of the keys to good health and well-being."

This collaboration is timely. The current COVID-19 pandemic is particularly affecting people with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The agreement has a special focus on preventing NCDs through sport. Physical activity helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer).
Read more

APHA Physical Activity Twitter Conference

APHA Physical Activity Twitter Conference
Abstract submissions for the 2020 Physical Activity Twitter Conference will be accepted until June 16, 2020 @ 11:59 P.M. (PST).
Read more

NCD Alliance Newsletter

NCD Alliance
  • NCD Alliance statement on WHA73 Resolution on COVID-19 response
  • We are pleased to announce the launch of the NCD Academy! 
  • COVID-19: Our understanding of who is most at risk is changing
  • Call for Our Views, Our Voices expression of interest
  • Turning the Tide mini-film wins award at WHO film festival 
Read more

Our Work

Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean

Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean
Our 'Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean' infographics are now available as a package, the package includes the full size infographic, a web-booklet version, a full colour printable version, reduced colour version for in house printing and three social media visuals which are shown below.
Read more

Childhood Obesity Prevention Visuals

A set of infographics, highlighting childhood obesity, the risks and the HCC policy asks.
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Read more
Social media graphics to campaign for the implementation of our Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Read more

HCC Technical Brief and Eight Advocacy Priorities

HCC Technical Brief:
HCC Technical Brief: First United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: Technical Brief for CARICOM Countries - A Contribution from Civil Society.
Read download
HCC Advocacy Priorities
HCC Advocacy Priorities for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.
Read/download
MHCS
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard

Key Messages From Our Publications

Call to Urgent Action
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Our Publications
No Marketing to Children
No marketing of unhealthy foods to children
HCC has created a series of  visuals to advocate for front of package nutrition warning labels and to also to campaign against the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Find out more information here.
Read more
CARD 2019: Women and Alcohol
CARD 2019: Women and Alcohol
A set of infographics
Read more
Call to Urgent Action
Call to Urgent Action - Infographics and Social Media Visuals
Read more
See All HCC Publications
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The HCC is a regional network of Caribbean health NGOs and civil society organizations with the remit to combat chronic diseases (NCDs) and their associated risk factors and conditions. Our membership presently consists of more than 65 Caribbean-based health NGOs and over 55 not-for-profit organisations and, in excess of 200 individual members based in the Caribbean and across the globe.

To join the HCC email us at hcc@healthycaribbean.org
The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
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The HCC promote the work of civil society throughout the Caribbean in a variety of ways including sharing of their materials, this is not an endorsement of their materials or messages. The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only, we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct but any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. Through this newsletter you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of the HCC. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.
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