The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

June 24th - June 30th 2016


HCC Awards Small Grants to Strengthen Health Systems Through Civil Society Action

Barbados Family Planning Association (BFPA)
HCC Small Grants were awarded to the Barbados Family Planning Association (BFPA) and Cancer Support Services (CSS) in support civil society contributing to health systems strengthening (HSS) at the country-level. Both civil society organisations submitted successful applications in response to the regional request for proposals launched earlier this year. The small grants programme was made possible through NCD Alliance/ Medtronic Philanthropy funding. 
In October 2014, the the HCC held a meeting in Dominica which brought together stakeholders from civil society, the public health sector and the private sector to encourage a greater understanding of what health systems strengthening (HSS) means in the Caribbean and provide a platform for evidence-informed CSO-led NCD advocacy within the context of HSS. One of the key successes of the meeting was the production of a CSO Statement of Commitment on Health Systems Strengthening which was signed by thirty-one regional health NGOs. The commitments of CSOs at the national and regional level seek to address gaps and weaknesses in health systems.

The CSOs received $2,500.00 USD and are using these funds to support action items identified in the HCC CSO Statement of Commitment on Health Systems Strengthening. Cancer Support Services is working in partnership with the University of the West Indies to undertake qualitative research to assess patient needs in order to strengthen their patient counselling programme and to inform patient led advocacy to improve national health services. Barbados Family Planning Association is working with the Barbados Diabetes Foundation to to improve health information systems, partnerships and referrals among CSO service providers.

Anderson Langdon from the Barbados Family Planning Association said "The Barbados Family Planning Association sought to deepen is relationship with the Barbados Diabetes Foundation.  With the help of the HSS Small grant both organisation will strengthen their service delivery and develop new practical ways of working together as it relates to their specialties of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights  and Diabetes Treatment. The long-term results of this project will be strengthened data collection and service quality for the clients and users of the services provided by both organisations".

The project results will be shared in the last quarter of 2016.

Advancing Health and Wellness as a Priority in CARICOM Countries Development

Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
CARPHA - Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, July 1, 2016: Health and wellness are essential factors to the Caribbean region’s development. Taking a very strong stance, Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), states that “Nothing can be more important today to the resilience of the Region than the state of public health.”  Dr. Hospedales made this remark as he reflected on what Caribbean Public Health Day, should mean to the people of the region. Listen here
According to statistics from the Caribbean Development Bank, the Region struggled to achieve 1% economic growth in 2015 and will likely fall below that percentage in 2016. Other information in the State of Public Health report being launched by CARPHA show that health problems, particularly chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are also negatively affecting economic growth. Depending on the study and country, diabetes and hypertension alone can account for 3-8% negative impact on the Gross Domestic Product, yet these problems are almost entirely preventable. The ageing of our populations also argues for investing in healthy ageing as an economic imperative. Read more
CARPHA State of Public Health Report

The State of Public Health in the Caribbean Region

CARPHA will be launching its inaugural State of Public Health Report on today, Caribbean Public Health Day.  

The report reviews the public health situation in the Region and provides statistical and technical information which can be used to aid decision making.

Read the Executive Summary here

Acting in the Anthropocene: the EAT - Lancet Commission

Acting in the Anthropocene: the EAT - Lancet Commission
Expanding waistlines are a problem not just for dietitians and population health specialists but, increasingly, for Earth system scientists too. The waistlines belong largely to the growing global middle class. The world is undergoing a dramatic nutrition transition to western diets. Wealth, industrialisation, and rapid urbanisation are driving a surge in resource intensive meat and dairy products and ultra-processed foods. This dietary shift is the main cause of an exponential rise in obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Worldwide, in 2014, about 1·9 billion adults were overweight, of whom 600 million were obese. This epidemic is accompanied by another horror: almost 800 million people suff er from hunger and about 2 billion have micronutrient deficiencies. Read more.

Physical Activity: Why We All Plan to Start “Tomorrow"

Physical Activity: Why We All Plan to Start “Tomorrow,"
Public lecture and discussion entitled Physical Activity: Why We All Plan to Start “Tomorrow" led by Ms. Christina Howitt and Ms. Miriam Alvarado, and moderated by Dr. Alafia Samuels, Thursday, July 7th, 7:30pm, Henry Fraser Lecture Theatre on the UWI, Cave Hill Campus The lecture will also include a panel with representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Town and Country Development Planning Office, civil society, and the private sector.
Public lecture and discussion entitled Physical Activity: Why We All Plan to Start “Tomorrow,"
Findings from research on physical activity patterns and trends in Barbados will be shared and set the stage for a lively discussion around what is currently being done to promote physical activity in various sectors, and the ways that we can promote physical activity in the future. 

All attendees will be entered in a draw for five week-long passes to the Surfside Wellness Centre and a 1 month pass to Get Women Moving dance-fitness classes. Free to enter drawing.

Read more
CARPHA Family Health

Good Family Health: A Contributing Factor to a Strong Economy

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, June 23 2016: “We must go back to the family, to basics, if we are to successfully address issues such as teenage pregnancy, mental health and youth violence in the Caribbean.”  So said, Premier, Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr The Honourable Rufus Ewing at the Opening Ceremony of the CARPHA 61st Health Research Conference at Beaches Resort, Providenciales. Read more

PSI Caribbean Partners with the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago (DATT)

PSI Caribbean Partners with the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago (DATT)
PSI Caribbean were pleased for the opportunity to partner with The Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago (DATT) as they present their first Primary School Art Competition. The competition was open to all standard five (5) Students.

DATT will select 30 finalists from throughout Trinidad and Tobago and announce 12 winners who will each receive Unit Trust (UTC) Units, hampers and trophies. The winning pieces will be featured in the 2017 Diabetes Calendar. As part of our CORE program, we provided social media support and NCD messaging. Read more

HCC Welcomes its Latest Member The Bovell Cancer-Diabetes Foundation

The Bovell Cancer-Diabetes Foundation
The Bovell Cancer-Diabetes Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago was created in honour of Mildred and Theophilus Bovell, for their extraordinary commitment to enriching lives. Their passion for helping others and enhancing the community in which they lived impacted many individuals. They inspired young people to pursue their education, and older adults to enhance their skills in adult education classes. 

Visit their website here and Facebook here. You can also read there most recent quarterly newsletter here.

iDonate Campaign - For the Cancer Caring Centre Expansion Building Fund

iDonate Campaign - For the Cancer Caring Centre Expansion Building Fund
Read more

World Cancer Day 2015 Campaign Report

On 4th February 2015, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) marked World Cancer Day collaboratively with its many members, partners and supporters around the world, breaking previous records and culminating in 10.7 billion opportunities to see, hear or read about World Cancer Day in 2015. The campaign focused on taking a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer using the tagline ‘Not beyond us’.

It explored how we can implement what we already know in the areas of prevention, early detection, treatment and care, and in turn, open up to the exciting prospect that we can impact the global cancer burden – for the better. Through the hundreds of activities and initiatives that took place around the globe, we were able to show that there is much that can be done at an individual, community and governmental level to harness and mobilise these solutions and catalyse positive change. Read it here

Chile Declares War on Junk Food

Chile declares war on junk food
Watch the video here

Draft Guidance for Industry: Voluntary Sodium Reduction Goals

The FDA has released sodium reduction targets for 150 packaged and restaurant food categories. The targets are voluntary and include short term (2 years) and long term (10 year) targets and maximums. We applaud the FDA for taking this important step to facilitate sodium reduction in the food supply, which will help Americans achieve healthier levels of sodium intake. 
The National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), a US partnership 100 local and state health departments and organizations that was modeled off of the UK Salt Reduction Initiative, was established in 2008. The announced FDA targets build upon and reinforce the work we started with the NSRI, which received sodium reduction commitments from nearly 30 major food companies. Read more

If you are interested to review or comment on the guidance, you can do so here.

Sugar and Health Policy in the UK

Sugar and Health Policy in the UK
  • Scientific advice is that sugar consumption should be limited to under 5% of total dietary energy (seven cubes a day). On average, all age groups consume over double this.
  • Public Health England recommends curbs on advertising and price promotions for high sugar foods, and reducing portion sizes and the sugar content of food and drinks.
  • The Committee for Advertising Practice is consulting on the governance of online advertising of foods high in sugar.
  • Researchers argue that agricultural policies that influence the commodity price of sugar, and therefore consumption, are overlooked in public health policy.
  • A new levy on sugar-sweetened drinks will come into effect in April 2018.
Read more

BCNF Fundraising Flea Market

The BCNF team were to be found working hard at their fundraising efforts at the popular flea market found at Hothersal Turning in St Michael, Barbados. On sale were household items, clothing and toys at great prices. All in all the flea market was a success and is sure to be repeated in the near future. On hand were the co-chair of the charity Mrs Andrea Jordan along with floor members Donna Barker and Michelle Cumberbatch, as well as volunteers Katerina Griffith and Gianni King. 

They also made good use of the occasion to raise awareness of the charity and its goals which are to support, promote and protect breastfeeding as well as to empower mothers and their families to make optimal food choices for their children. The funds raised from the Flea Market will go towards supporting a new breastfeeding awareness initiative (led by BCNF in partnership with the Ministry of Health) at the main hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

Youth Voices: Reflections from #WHA69

Youth Voices: Reflections from #WHA69
Cristina Gago is a Master of Public Health student at the University of Southern California. As part of USC’s Global Health program, she recently traveled to Geneva to attend her first World Health Assembly.  Ms. Gago was a volunteer at NCD Child’s WHA side event, “Country Collaborations for NCDs – Bringing Together CSOs, Youth, and Government.”  Event sponsors, NCD Child, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the International Pediatric Association, were thrilled to see and hear the number of youth voices in the audience for the breakfast session.  Below are a few of Cristina’s reflections from the day.

As a college student, I am always focused on getting through the next minute, hour, day – nothing beyond that. I will do anything – drink an extra cup of coffee, eat an extra sugary dessert, skip an exercise class – to get from one day to the next.  I, like most twenty-somethings, treat this lifelong marathon like a sprint, without much concern of long-term consequences. At the World Health Assembly last May, advocates from civil society, government, and youth organizations at NCD Child’s side event, ‘Country Collaborations for NCDs” drew upon their observations of this common theme of the false invincibility in youth. Read more

Better Mental Health for All

Public lecture and discussion entitled Physical Activity: Why We All Plan to Start “Tomorrow,"
This report focuses on what can be done individually and collectively to enhance the mental health of individuals, families and communities by using a public health approach. It is intended as a resource for public health practitioners to support the development of knowledge and skills in public mental health.

It presents the latter from the perspective of those working within public health, giving valuable interdisciplinary perspectives that focus on achieving health gains across the population.
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Latest
That Extra Boost...
Sometimes we just need a bit of extra boost to make it through.

HIV & Heart Disease...
Persons with HIV at higher risk of Heart Disease. The HIV infection itself increases your risk for cardiovascular disease. 

Read more from the Heart & Stroke Foundation newsletter here.
NGO Mental Health Recommendation
We would like to apologise to Dr. Andrea Yearwood Senior Health Policy Analyst at CARPHA, for inadvertently referring to her as Dr. Andrea Harewood.
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NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Habitat III: Including health in the urbanisation agenda
  • First steps of a Pacific funding mechanism to fight NCDs
  • The Caribbean launches new brief on food environments
  • GoPA presents a portrait of physical activity worldwide
  • High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
  • NCDFREE Bootcamp
  • Ending childhood obesity
Read more
HCC News Roundup Archive - If you have missed any of our News Roundups you can view previous Roundups on our News Roundup Archive webpage here.
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 50 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
The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
Sagicor Life Inc.
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