The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

January 27th - February 2nd 2017


The HCC Caribbean Cancer Alliance Celebrates World Cancer Day 2017 with the Launch of Our Caribbean Cancer Advocacy Agenda

This Caribbean cancer advocacy agenda was developed largely in consultation with cancer patients and survivors in order to give voice to this community and support the process of greater cancer patient led cancer advocacy in the Caribbean.
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Cost of Care is a major barrier for cancer care in the Caribbean. The Cancer Institute of Guyana works with clients who face this challenge daily. In support of the launch of the Caribbean Cancer Alliance’s Cancer Advocacy Agenda, the CIG prepared a video compilation of testimonials from cancer patients.

Meet Margaret the Face of a Caribbean Cancer Survivor

Meet Margaret the Face of a Caribbean Cancer Survivor
“I was diagnosed with early stage ER-positive breast cancer in July 2010. I’d never heard of anyone in my family to have cancer; my family members are long-livers, my aunt recently celebrated her 100th birthday. So I thought: hey, cancer ain’t coming my way.”

“Today, we are all cancer candidates.”

It took a diagnosis of cancer for Margaret to take charge of her own health. In life before cancer, Margaret would have never expressed excitement over a WhatsApp message about an unfamiliar health-food item, saying “Queen-wah?” Quinoa: a nutritious, high protein grain, for those not in the know! Along with ensuring her diet only consists of healthy, unprocessed foods; she now fitness-walks daily, and is a regular of line-dancing class.

At least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable. Let’s help make Margaret’s voice heard urging us to make lifestyle changes; yes it is difficult, but the benefits are worth it. Healthy living is not a sure bet against cancer, but it will raise the stakes in your favour, by lowering the risk of developing cancer. If Margaret says, “I can make healthier lifestyle choices” - then so can we!

 #WorldCancerDay #WeCanICan

Sagicor - The Greatest Wealth is Health

The Greatest Health is Wealth

“We can, I can” Reduce My Risk of Cancer.

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. February 4, 2017. The large number of deaths from breast and cervical cancer in the Caribbean is very alarming, since cervical cancer is largely preventable, and breast cancer can be detected early and treated successfully.

Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr C. James Hospedales said, “Common modifiable risk factors that contribute to the development of cancers include tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol."  
James Hospedales
He also stated that, "There is strong evidence that a person’s risk of developing cancer can be substantially reduced through healthy lifestyles. A reduction in modifiable risk factors will contribute to a decrease in cancer cases, and as a consequence, deaths and costs from the disease in our Region.” This year, and through 2018, the theme for World Cancer Day (WCD) is “We can. I can” focusing on how everyone – collectively and individually – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
The 3-year campaign which started in 2016, outlines actions that communities and individuals can take to save lives by achieving greater equity in cancer care and making fighting cancer a priority at the highest political levels.
The 3-year campaign which started in 2016, outlines actions that communities and individuals can take to save lives by achieving greater equity in cancer care and making fighting cancer a priority at the highest political levels. Read the full press release here.

Bermuda - World Cancer Day - Support Through Sport

Bermuda - World Cancer Day - Support Through Sport
February 4th 2017 - Support Through Sport - For World Cancer Day this year, Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre are supporting the youth football teams. 

On February 4th, they will be at various football fields with information on cancer and helping to spread education about the disease that affects 1 in 3 people globally and kills over 8 million people per year.

This is more than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB combined! Read more
Early Cancer Diagnosis Saves Lives, Cuts Treatment Costs

Early Cancer Diagnosis Saves Lives, Cuts Treatment Costs

New guidance from WHO, launched ahead of World Cancer Day (4 February), aims to improve the chances of survival for people living with cancer by ensuring that health services can focus on diagnosing and treating the disease earlier..

New WHO figures released this week indicate that each year 8.8 million people die from cancer, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. One problem is that many cancer cases are diagnosed too late. Even in countries with optimal health systems and services, many cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully. Read more

Gov’t Lauded on Decision to Ban E-Cigarettes in Public Spaces 

Barbados Advocate - The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) has congratulated the Government of Barbados, for its “timely decision”, to ban e-cigarette use in public spaces.
In the HCC’s latest news roundup for this month, the Coalition admits that “studies about e-cigarettes and smoking behaviour show conflicting results”. Whilst e-cigarettes were shown to be mildly helpful in kicking the habit in one clinical trial, the HCC points out that in other studies, e-cigarette use did not increase quit rates, or was even associated with a higher risk of continuing to smoke.
“The bottom line is that they are harmful and the use of e-cigarettes among youth, is growing in the Caribbean,” the HCC is however quick to point out. Read more

Recent Media coverage:

The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Welcomes Ban on e-Cigarettes

Fiona Anthony
“The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB) fully supports the recent ban on the use of e-cigarettes in public places by the Ministry of Health. E-cigarettes pose health concerns due to the presence of low levels of addictive nicotine and also, and as expressed by the WHO can be an easy gateway to smoking tobacco. The HSFB congratulates the Ministry of Health on its very progressive move to ban e-cigarettes and remains committed to educating the public on the dangers of all forms of smoking to health and quality of life.”
Recent Media Coverage of e-Cigarette Ban:

Childhood and Adolescent Obesity

Childhood and Adolescent Obesity
Childhood and adolescent obesity is a major health issues in the Caribbean more than 10% of young people are now obese. In some countries this figure rises to around 25%. Less than a third are active enough and are at growing risk of NCDs such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In fact, in Barbados some 2,500 children have developed high blood pressure as a result of obesity.

The Research and Some Sense team (“Straight facts, no chaser”) has put together an entertaining and irreverent video using data from the Port of Spain NCD evaluation. There are some concrete suggestions as to what we can do to better protect our children. Watch it here.

Cancer Support Services Receives Donation from Red Plastic Bag

Cancer Support Services Receives Donation from Red Plastic Bag
On Thursday January 26, 2017 Cancer Support Services received a special donation from Mr. Stedson Wiltshire better known as Red Plastic Bag.

RPB Donated his honorarium from his performance at the Barbados Association of Tampa Bay’s (BAOTB) event “Celebrate Bajan Pride”.

The Importance of the HPV Vaccine

Jamaica Observer - Cervical cancer is very common among women worldwide. The way forward is prevention of cervical cancer by vaccination using the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine, which has been shown to be effective in over 93 per cent of cases in cervical cancer prevention.

HPV is a very common group of viruses.
According to Registered Nurse Shavene Walford, there are more than 100 types of HPV. It is important for women to do Pap smears as these help to detect early abnormal changes in the cervix that can progress to cervical cancer if left for a long time. Read more

NCDFREE - Feast of Ideas

NCDFREE - Feast of Ideas
#feastofideas was about tabling our health challenges, feasting on great solutions, and toasting to a better future for everyone. In October 2016, hundreds of dinner parties around the world challenged and changed our future by giving people an opportunity to use food to solve our biggest health challenges - noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). #feastofideas crowdsourced thousands of solutions over just 31 days to collect and collate the ultimate menu of solutions.

By sharing #feastofideas photos, videos, and solutions on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, over 300 dinner parties in 56 countries served up their best  homegrown solutions to the world. Overwhelmingly, participants cherished this opportunity to have meaningful and productive conversations with family and friends about food – our greatest opportunity for a better, brighter, healthier, and more sustainable future. Read more
Law: An Underused Tool to Improve Health and Wellbeing for All

Law: An Underused Tool to Improve Health and Wellbeing for All

One of the most potent tools to advance health and wellbeing and enshrine the right to health in local, regional, national, and international policies has not yet gained suffi  cient attention in global health discussions. A new report, released on Jan 16, Advancing the right to health: The vital role of law, aims to fi ll this gap. The report, a collaboration between WHO, the International Development Law Organization, the University of Sydney, Australia, and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, USA, tackles this vast topic in three parts: advancing the right to health through law reform; the process of public health law reform; and priorities for public health law reform. In many examples, it shows how countries have implemented a wide range of laws relevant to public health. Read more

Cancer Rates Set to Increase Six Times Faster in Women Than Men 

Cancer Rates Set to Increase Six Times Faster in Women Than Men 
Cancer rates will increase nearly six times faster in women than in men over the next 20 years, with obesity partly to blame, experts predict.

As several of the obesity-related cancer types only affect women, the growing number of people of both sexes who are severely overweight is likely to have a greater effect on incidence of the disease among women, according to the analysis by Cancer Research UK. Read more

South Pacific islands Ban Western Junk Food and Go Organic 

South Pacific islands Ban Western Junk Food and Go Organic 
A group of south Pacific islands are banning foreign junk food imports in favour of an all-local, organic diet as a way to combat future health problems.

Torba province, part of Vanuatu, aims to impose restrictions on the import of western foodstuffs and instead take advantage of its productive agricultural land and rich natural resources.

Located in the northern part of Vanuatu, Toba is often described as the “forgotten province” and the majority of its 10,000 people are subsistence farmers. Read more

Americans Were Making a Lot of Progress Cutting Back on Sugary Drinks. Now That’s Stopped

cutting back on sugary drinks
For years, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines urged Americans to drink less sugary beverages. And for years, many Americans listened.

But after a decade of falling consumption, rates have stalled at well above the recommended limit, according to statistics released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency found that adults and children are both consuming roughly the same number of calories from soda, sports drinks and other sugary beverages now as they did in 2009-2010, the last time the CDC published comparable data. Read more

Wellness Workshop for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Wellness Workshop
Cancer patients and survivors' ongoing health is incredibly important. It can be challenging to keep mentally and physically healthy especially during ones cancer journey. 

Nina London, a Certified Wellness and Weight Management Coach, is hosting a wellness workshop for cancer patients and survivors. 

When: Thursday, Feb 9, 2017, Time: 6pm - 7:30pm at the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre.

More information click here.

International Women in Wellness Conference 2017

Yes She Can
Register here.

Funding and Training Opportunities

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R01) Research Project Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R21) Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Apply to the NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention. Registration is now OPEN to all applicants and is required due to space limitations. The deadline for all applicants is February 15, 2017.

Implementation Science for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders in Low- and Middle-income Countries (U01) Research Project – Cooperative Agreements. Open date: March 7, 2017

Call for mental health research proposals. The deadline for applications will be 11 April 2017, 4.00pm BST (3.00pm UTC)
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados
5 Things Hurting Your Heart...
It may be important to evaluate how these five things so often over-looked can have an impact on our hearts.

Bajan Dunks...
They are in season and are healthy for you...

Read more here
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • NCDs addressed extensively by the 140th WHO Executive Board
  • Our February webinar will look at 140th WHO EB outcomes 
  • CSocD55 focuses on strategies for eradicating poverty
  • Blog: Pilot programmes in Ghana and the Philippines to expand access to treatment  
  • New petition to mobilise health professionals in the fight against tobacco
Read more
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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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