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June 4th

Featured

COVID-19 Significantly Impacts Health Services for Noncommunicable Diseases

Photo: WHO
WHO: Prevention and treatment services for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have been severely disrupted since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a WHO survey released today. The survey, which was completed by 155 countries during a 3-week period in May, confirmed that the impact is global, but that low-income countries are most affected.

This situation is of significant concern because people living with NCDs are at higher risk of severe COVID-19-related illness and death.

“The results of this survey confirm what we have been hearing from countries for a number of weeks now,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Many people who need treatment for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes have not been receiving the health services and medicines they need since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s vital that countries find innovative ways to ensure that essential services for NCDs continue, even as they fight COVID-19.”
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Statement by Katie Dain, CEO, NCD Alliance on WHO Rapid Assessment of Service Delivery for NCDs During COVID-19

As the WHO report indicates, COVID-19 has been unforgiving on people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and has laid bare the failure of the vast majority of governments worldwide to adequately  guarantee the health of its citizens.

We were already suffering from chronic underinvestment in NCD prevention and treatment - including screening, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care - and the COVID-19 pandemic has come back to bite us as care and treatment essential to the wellbeing, recovery and even survival of people living with NCDs are being disrupted in almost every country.

According to the WHO Assessment, in the countries most affected by COVID-19 (community transmission): almost half (46%) of countries report disrupted services for cardiovascular emergencies (including heart attack and stroke), over half of countries report disrupted  cancer treatment (54%); and almost  two-thirds of countries report disrupted hypertension  management (64%) and diabetes treatment (62%).
Read Full Statement

EarthMedic and EarthNurse Helping the World During the Difficult Times!

EarthMedic and EarthNurse Helping the World During the Difficult Times!
Launching of EarthMedic and EarthNurse on Friday June 5th 1:00PM-1:45PM EST / 6:00PM GMT+1

EarthMedic is a Non-governmental Organization (NGO), formulated as the means to tackle the big challenges in planetary health facing us, namely climate change and noncommunicable diseases (NCD's), by Dr. James Hospedales, the former Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA, an Institution of the Caribbean Community. EarthNurse is being co-founded by Maggie Fay, Nurse specialist in England, UK, as a companion NGO.

Dr. Hospedales stated, “Today it’s COVID, tomorrow it’s Climate change – we need to act now to avoid extreme catastrophe, beyond the damage we have already sustained to lives, livelihoods and the planet, especially in climate vulnerable regions, such as the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America.”

EarthNurse Co-founder; Maggie Fay; stated, "We aim to build a home for nurses and doctors and others concerned about the climate and health emergency we face, where we can safely discuss our concerns, make connections and share ideas and resources.”
Launch Invite
Register for the Launch
Read the Press Release
The Board of Directors of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) welcomes the launch of EarthMedic and EarthNurse. We believe that climate change and health including chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and emerging pandemics - will be the greatest challenges faced by the Caribbean in this century. EarthMedic and EarthNurse will leverage the expertise and voices of passionate health care providers and activists across our region and globally to protect the health of our people and our planet. The formation of this twin entity is timely as we are now reeling from the catastrophic effects of the global coronavirus pandemic and preparing for an active hurricane season.  We as a region must show our fulsome support for EarthMedic/EarthNurse which will be a platform for connecting passionate individuals with unique expertise - united around these urgent causes.

The HCC commits our partnership and solidarity in support of this bold and shared vision. Heartiest of congratulations to Dr. James Hospedales and Maggie Fay for their leadership and innovation - the time is now.

- The Board of Directors of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition

Sir Trevor Hassell - Time For Paradigm Shift In Production And Consumption Of Healthy Food

Sir Trevor Hassell - Time For Paradigm Shift In Production And Consumption Of Healthy Food
Blog Post by Sir Trevor Hassell was featured in the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner both in print and online and also the Barbados Advocate last weekend.

As the Caribbean begins to look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic there is much consideration being given to legacies of the pandemic which will contribute to the socio-economic development of Caribbean people.

Many of these legacies are expected to be in finance, how we do business, use of technology, and diversification of economies leading to more resilient countries better able to respond to the ever increasing shocks of climate change, natural disasters, and recurrent pandemics. 

Of equal importance and need is a COVID-19 health legacy resulting in the greatest number of people receiving effective, affordable care in healthy national environments facilitated by pro-health policies and legislation.

Paramount among the health conditions to which attention should be paid are the chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the links between NCDs and infectious diseases with people living with NCDs and obesity being more susceptible to severe complications and death from COVID-19.
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My #COVIDSTORY - Voices of PLWNCDs in the COVID-19 Era: We Want to Hear From You! 

My #COVIDSTORY
Please send a short story (no more than 300 words), video (no more than 1-2 minutes) OR an audio clip and picture of yourself (no more than 1-2 minutes) via email to hcc@healthycaribbean.org. The HCC will be compiling and using these personal accounts to inform our advocacy work. Stories will be shared publicly with consent or limited to internal use to highlight individual challenges and successes.
 
Here are some stories we have already collected for inspiration. We applaud the courage of these individuals and look forward to hearing your #COVIDStory.
#COVIDSTORY
#COVIDSTORY
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COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19
HCC COVID-19 Webpage

COVID-19 in the Caribbean: Daily Surveillance Reports

From The George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre
George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre
Through work with CDEMA, CARPHA, and PAHO, and specifically with the Barbados government, the George Alleyne CDRC have been producing daily COVID-19 surveillance reports for each of the 20 CARICOM countries, along with regional overviews.
Visit the site

Guyana Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) - Kitchen Garden Project Ensuring Food Security Amid COVID-19

Department of Public Information Guyana: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Agriculture’s (MOA) Rural Entrepreneurial Agricultural Project (REAP) has launched its COVID-19 Relief Kitchen Garden initiative.

The programme aims to ensure food security while to assisting citizens to be self-sufficient, and practice healthier eating during this period.
Read more
Backyard Gardening
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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Tobacco Use Increases COVID-19 Risk - Dr. Tufton

https://jis.gov.jm/tobacco-use-increases-covid-19-risk-dr-tufton/
Jamaica Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton
Photo: Adrian Walker
JIS: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is warning that tobacco use increases the risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) or severe complications associated with the disease.

As such, he is appealing for persons who use tobacco to quit the habit.

Dr. Tufton, in his World No Tobacco Day message on Sunday (May 31), pointed out that although new discoveries are continuously being made about COVID-19, there is enough to know that smokers are at high risk.
Read more
Related Media:

PAHO Director Warns of ‘Deadly’ NCDs, COVID-19 Relationship

Dr Carissa Etienne, Director of PAHO
Dr Carissa Etienne, Director of PAHO
Photo: Jamaica Observer
Jamaica Observer: WARNING that countries could face a “parallel epidemic”, director of the Pan American Health Organization Dr Carissa Etienne is calling on the region to ramp up efforts to protect individuals with underlying medical conditions, even as it battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the parallel epidemic would be “of preventable deaths of persons with non-communicable diseases (NCDs)”.

“One of the most concerning aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the disproportionate impact of the virus on people suffering from non-communicable diseases or NCDs, namely hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, asthma, and other respiratory diseases, in addition to obesity. We have never seen such a deadly relationship between an infectious disease and NCDs,” Dr Etienne said.
Read more
Related Media:
Thank the COVID-19 Frontline workers

COVID-19 Lockdowns Worsen Childhood Obesity, Study Finds

COVID-19 Lockdowns Worsen Childhood Obesity, Study Finds
Photo: © natmacstock / stock.adobe.com
Lockdowns implemented across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted diet, sleep and physical activity among children with obesity, according to University at Buffalo research.
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Stay Active

Without Kids in Stores to Drive Impulse Purchases, good2grow Pivots Marketing to Focus on Parents

good2grow
Photo: good2grow
Food Navigator: Children’s brands that previously relied on “the nag factor,” impulse purchases or being the reward parents give children to behave in stores are pivoting their marketing to target adults now that most families send only one adult to the grocery store to limit exposure to the coronavirus.

For the juice and flavored water brand good2grow​, vice president Edzra Gibson says, the marketing shift from children to parents “has been a tough challenge,”​ but one it appears to have cracked successfully based on its 300% increase in online sales and rebounding in-store velocities since the pandemic began.
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What’s New With the ‘New Normal’

Dr Tyehimba Salandy
Dr Tyehimba Salandy
Photo: TT Newsday
TT Newsday: It's the new normal, so TT’s health officials have been saying. The phrase, the new normal, is not new. The phrase was first used by American economic adviser and businessman Mohamed El-Erian in a 2010 lecture to refer to financial conditions following the 2007-2008 financial crisis. But what does the new normal mean in the age of covid19?

In an April 29 Newsday article, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram described aspects of the new normal as "continued hand hygiene, observing cough etiquette, social distancing; using masks where appropriate and the continued sanitisation of surfaces.” The Ministry of Health has since launched an advertising campaign about the new normal. The campaign tells people to wear a mask; keep distance from others; stay home if ill; wash hands often with soap and water and or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser; cough into a tissue or into the crook of the elbow; avoid touching the face and clean then sanitise surfaces.

But the definition of new normal is deeper than that for sociologist Dr Tyehimba Salandy and Independent Senator and Medical Board president Dr Varma Deyalsingh.
Read more
COVID Lifeline for Agriculture
Photo: Rishi Ragoonath

COVID Lifeline for Agriculture

TT Guardian: Government's allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture which moved from $1.9 billion in the 2011/2012 budget to a mere $546 million in the 2017/2018 fiscal package, reflects a drastic drop in the amount Government is willing to spend in this ministry. An examination of budgets from 2010-2011 to 2019/2020 between the People's Partnership regime and the current People's National Movement administration showed a decrease in allocation over the years. Read more
Walter Roban
Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, Bermuda
Photo: Roger Jacob

House: Plans to Expand Farming, Fishing

Royal Gazette: The Government is considering expanding Bermuda’s potential for farming and fishing, Walter Roban told the House of Assembly.

A study will be carried out on opportunities for “under produced but locally desired produce”, while the Government will also promote home growing opportunities and increase the use of arable land. Read more
H&L Agro Hands Over $2M in Agricultural Inputs to Help Farmers
Photo: Loop News

H&L Agro Hands Over $2M in Agricultural Inputs to Help Farmers

Loop News Jamaica: Following on the pledge to support the Government’s recovery programme for farmers affected by the COVID-19 fallout, H&L Agro on Thursday donated $2 million in agricultural inputs to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. The donation completes the company’s $10 million relief package, which also included product discounts of up to 30% for all farmers during April and May Read more
Marina Salandy-Brown
Photo: Roger Jacob

Eating Better After covid19

TT Newsday: Marina Salandy-BrownBeing an eternal optimist, I am inclined to believe that we would have opened our eyes, even a little, to the bare facts that have been laid before us as a result of the present pandemic. The ways in which we have been forced to feed ourselves during the long period with no restaurants and fast food outlets to indulge in is perhaps of the greatest importance; after all, we work to eat. At its most basic: no food, no life. Read more
COVID-19 Recent Articles

PAHO Survey: Alcohol Use and COVID-19

The Pan American Health Organization is interested in the alcohol consumption patterns of residents of Latin American and Caribbean countries, during the social changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The study obtained PAHO regional ethical approval to be implemented in 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The initiative is being carried out in partnership with the Department of Preventive Medicine at Universidade Federal de São Paulo and the PAHO / WHO Collaborating Center in Canada (Center for Addiction and Mental Health). The questionnaire takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous and confidential.

We encourage you to participate and disseminate the link below to your contacts, by email, Facebook, WhatsApp or other social media.

The results will be disseminated in the form of reports and scientific papers, with country profiles and comparisons between countries, whenever possible.
Take the Survey

News

The Food Systems Dashboard

The Food Systems Dashboard combines data from multiple sources to give users a complete view of food systems. Users can compare components of food systems across countries and regions. They can also identify and prioritize ways to sustainably improve diets and nutrition in their food systems.

Dashboards are useful tools that help users visualize and understand key information for complex systems. Users can track progress to see if policies or other interventions are working at a country or regional level

In recent years, the public health and nutrition communities have used dashboards to track the progress of health goals and interventions, including the Sustainable Development Goals. To our knowledge, this is the first dashboard that collects country-level data across all components of the food system.

The Dashboard was developed by Johns Hopkins University and The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, with collaborators at Harvard University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and The Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice.
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Identifying a Human Rights–Based Approach to Obesity for States and Civil Society

Identifying a Human Rights–Based Approach to Obesity for States and Civil Society
World Obesity Federation: The global obesity pandemic and its comorbidities, including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, and hypertension, pose risks to the life and health of individuals, the well‐being of families, and economic development.1-3 The risk factors for obesity arise at the level of genes, behaviours, and the environment. The main behavioural risk factors for obesity are excess consumption of foods and beverages including alcohol4 that are energy‐dense and high in sugar and/or fat, as well as insufficient physical activity due to changing modes of transportation, increasing urbanization, more screen time, and the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work. Changing food environments are a global phenomenon, driven by trade liberalization policies, increased global trade in food, and the rapid growth of supermarkets, large processed food companies, and fast food brands.
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Healthy People Shouldn’t Take Daily Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease, Review Finds

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
CNN: There is no evidence that low-dose aspirin - less than 325 milligrams a day - should be taken by most adults in good cardiovascular health, according to a new review of existing research that published Wednesday in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

The review, which focused on the risks and benefits of low-dose daily aspirin, found that the risk of a major bleeding event as a result of the drug's blood-thinning effects outweighs the benefit.

US guidance on a daily dose of aspirin changed last year, with the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommending daily aspirin only for patients who have had a heart attack, stroke or open heart surgery. Advice in the United Kingdom is similar.
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Do Warning Labels Help People Choose Healthier Drinks?

Do Warning Labels Help People Choose Healthier Drinks?
Medical Xpress: Warning labels on sugary drinks lead to healthier drink choices, according to new analysis of more than 20 studies examining these warnings. The new findings could help inform policymakers, who are increasingly interested in implementing policies requiring warning labels for sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugary drinks (also known as sugar sweetened beverages) refer to beverages with added sugar or other sweeteners, such as soda, sports drinks or fruit-flavored drinks.
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Action on Sugar and Action on Salt Campaigners Urge Unhealthy Food Tax as Part of New Obesity Measures

Unhealthy Food Tax
Photo: The Grocer
The Grocer: Campaigners have called on Boris Johnson to put new taxes on unhealthy food, as part of a rumoured new crackdown by the PM on obesity.

Johnson was reported earlier this month to be planning a new blitz on health, following his experience with the coronavirus and fears that being overweight can double the risk of being admitted to intensive care.

Government plans including new targets on salt and calories, a clampdown on HFSS promotions and restrictions on advertising of junk food have, however, been put on hold during the crisis.
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Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development 2020 Evidence to Policy Fellowship Program

Deadline: June 5, 2020
The University of the West Indies, Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CCHSRD) is offering early and mid-career researchers and policymakers the opportunity to enhance their professional development by participating in an Evidence to Policy Fellowship Program. The program will consist of five (5) days training in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago and coaching and mentorship over a period of three (3) months. Successful applicants must participate in the mandatory training at the CCHSRD in Trinidad and Tobago.
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OAS Scholarship Opportunity

OAS Scholarship Opportunity
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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).
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NCD Alliance Newsletter

NCD Alliance
  • WHO reports NCD care being disrupted by COVID-19 in 120 countries
  • EU's post COVID-19 recovery plan seeks to build back better
  • WHO receives first donation for insulin from Novo Nordisk
  • 5 June: Celebrate #WorldEnvironmentDay 2020
  • Survey to assess mental wellbeing of health workers
  • Population health: New 3-D Commission launched 
  • WHO survey to collect best practices on NCD campaigns 
Read more

Our Work

MHCS

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.
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HCC Advocacy Priorities
HCC Advocacy Priorities for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.
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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.
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Chilean Policies Effectively Tackling Obesity

Lessons for the Caribbean
Chilean Policies Effectively Tackling Obesity
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Childhood Obesity Prevention Visuals

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