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June 9th - June 15th 2018





June 15, 2018
Dear Dr. The Honourable Christopher Tufton,
The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) wishes to congratulate the Ministry of Health, Jamaica and the Government of Jamaica on your June 5th, 2018 Parliamentary announcement of a restriction on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) (beverages that contain sugar or syrup that is added by the manufacturer excluding 100 per cent juice or unsweetened milk), in Jamaican schools and public health facilities effective January 2019.  This action taken by the Government of Jamaica supports the HCC Civil Society Action Plan 2017-2021: Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean and the HCC Call to Action, both of, which call on the Governments of CARICOM countries to implement a package of evidence based policy actions aimed at tackling childhood obesity.
The HCC strongly supports this policy measure, which is part of a wider strategy to combat the urgent epidemic of childhood overweight and obesity we are facing in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. We look forward to seeing the details of the policy in the coming months. This will be useful for other regional governments keen to follow the leadership of Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, and now Jamaica - in taking population-level policy measures to create healthier school environments.
The restriction on sugary drinks in schools aligns with actions endorsed by the World Health Organisation Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity: Implementation Plan which calls for the elimination of the provision or sale of unhealthy foods, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, in the school environment. The Caribbean has the highest NCD mortality rate in the Americas and 40% of these deaths occur prematurely before the age of 70 years. Obesity is a major underlying factor which contributes to the development of NCDs, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One in three Caribbean children are either overweight or obese placing them on trajectory for health complications in childhood and adolescence and increased risk of NCDs in adulthood. The implementation of policies that support obesity prevention and reduction efforts are key to making the environments in which our populations live, work and grow less obesogenic. The ban on SSBs in public health infrastructures, which is set to coincide with the SSB ban in schools, shows a commitment by the Jamaican Government to creating environments that promote healthier diets. Such policy measures, when implemented effectively, create strong regulatory environments which help drive product reformulation and encourage manufacturers and retailers to increase the availability of affordable, healthier food and beverage options. Every Caribbean country is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) thereby underscoring the important role of governments to ensure that those most vulnerable in the population - our children - are protected from continuous exposure to harmful environments that promote consumption of products high in salt, sugar and trans fats.
Against the background of the recently launched WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030, the HCC also wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government of Jamaica on the Jamaica Moves Initiative, which aims to educate, encourage and empower Jamaicans to eat healthily and increase their levels of physical activity.
The HCC applauds the leadership of the Government of Jamaica in its actions taken to combat NCDs and welcomes continued bold n in this area through further implementation of the WHO NCD Best Buys and looks forward to your presence at the highest levels at the upcoming 3rd UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in New York on September 27th, 2018.
- The Board of Directors, staff and volunteers of the HCC, Technical Advisors and the 100+ HCC Members
Related Media:

NCD Child and HCC Youth Advocate Partner up to Push NCD Agenda and the HLM3

CORE Group Global Health Practitioner Conference
From left to right - Miss.Ashley Foster-Estwick (Women Deliver Young Leader, H.C.C Youth Advocate), Mr. Duane Wallace (PhD Student, CORE Group Youth Champion) Ms. Sheri Walters (PhD Student, CORE Group Youth Champion), Mrs. Kiran Patel (American Academy of Pediatrics, NCD Child), Mrs. Arti Patel Varanasi (President & CEO Advancing Synergy, L.L.C), Miss.Ishu Kataria (RTI International), Dr. Mychelle Farmer (Chairperson NCD Child) and Dr. Zakou Yahaya (Lead of Health Department Catholic Relief Services)  at the CORE Group Global Health Practitioner Conference for Community Health Action for the Humanitarian-Development Nexus. 
Washington D.C. to New York City from Barbados and back all in 3 days. To anyone this would appear to be a daunting task but it was too good of an opportunity to pass. On January 31st, 2018, I was appointed one of the seventeen Women Deliver Young Leaders for the Caribbean region.  Women Deliver boasts a total of 300 global youth leaders. From that point forward, it has been my mission to address the synergies between sexual and reproductive health and non-communicable diseases: an intersection that is often ignored. Top of my list was to approach the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) about lending my voice to NCD advocacy. One of the many rewards of becoming a youth advocate with the HCC is the chance you get to align any of your volunteering efforts with the actions of the HCC. Actions, which ultimately can shape the very fabric of an entire community.
Youth advocates with the HCC also have the enormous privilege of entering advocacy spaces to present on issues happening at home in the Caribbean region and with the 3rd UN High Level Meeting on NCDs set for September 27th 2018 (HLM3); the time to act is now. Local and international organisations are calling on the youth to lead discussions, strategize innovative solutions and to become leaders in their own right, influencing a fight against non-communicable diseases.
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'Stop! Yuh TOO Sweet' Campaign To Combat Childhood Obesity Launched in Barbados

Stop! Yuh TOO Sweet
The campaign, an initiative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, and dubbed Stop! Yuh TOO Sweet, will initially focus solely on the support of policy change to ban the sale of surgary drinks in schools.
Stop! Yuh TOO Sweet
Minister Bostic cited a report by researchers at the University of the West Indies which revealed that in 1987, only 8.5 per cent of Barbadian school children were obese. By 2010, the percentage rose to 32.5 and it was now projected that the figure would move to 50 per cent by 2030. 

He noted: “Childhood obesity is harming Barbados through its impacts on the health and social fabric of the country."
Not only is the burden of obesity in children large but it is projected to continue growing unless we take decisive action.”

The impacts of childhood obesity on health, he stated, encompassed issues such as increased risk of adult obesity and increased risk of non-communicable diseases, depression and anxiety.
Stop! Yuh TOO Sweet,
Launch of the campaign featured on CBC TV News, including snippets from Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, Health and Wellness Minister, Fiona Anthony, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados and Sir Trevor Hassell President of the HCC
Related Media:

HCC to Host Childhood Obesity Sensitisation Event for Regional Media

Caribbean journalists and media houses are invited to attend  the HCC's Regional Media Sensitisation on Childhood Obesity Prevention online via zoom on Wednesday June 27th from 10am to 11:45am. Media based in Barbados are free to attend in person at the Distance Learning Centre, UWI, Cave Hill Campus.

This event represents yet another project in partnership with the UWI Open Campus.

The HCC will be focussing on the growing challenge of Childhood Obesity facing the Caribbean and its link to non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.which are now responsible for six out of every ten deaths. 

The session will provide relevant and evidence-based material on Childhood Obesity and will also help Caribbean journalists prepare for coverage of the upcoming CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in July.

Our expert presenters will include HCC’s President, Sir Trevor Hassell; Director of The George Alleyne Research Centre for Chronic Disease, Professor Alafia Samuels, the Deputy Principal, UWI Open Campus, Professor Julie Meeks and the President of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, Dr Kenneth Connell. We also expect participation from the Corporate Sector.

Journalists interested in attending online should confirm their attendance via email to 

A zoom link will be sent to all confirmed participants.

Caribbean Children Play Their Part in Toomuchjunk Campaign

The toomuchjunk campaign will launch its most recent social media initiative next week: Letters to our Leaders.  A collaborative project of the CSO Action Team, Letters to our Leaders, will highlight youngsters from various territories sharing their thoughts on Childhood Obesity and what can be done to prevent it. CSOs are encouraged to submit videos for this initiative until every Caribbean country is represented!
Caribbean Children Play their Part in toomuchjunk Campaign
Young People share their thoughts on Childhood Obesity

Look who's signed the Childhood Obesity Prevention Call to Action

Barbados Government Senator, Dr. Crystal Haynes

Barbados Government Senator, Dr. Crystal Haynes
Join the Call to Action NOW!

Government Takes the Fight to Health Issues

Molwyn Joseph
Molwyn Joseph, Minister  of Health Antigua & Barbuda
The government of Antigua and Barbuda is currently putting plans in place to tackle the issues affecting the health and wellness of residents.

Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Molwyn Joseph, told a stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday that too many of the deaths in Antigua and Barbuda are the result of non-communicable diseases.

According to Joseph, this is a “lifestyle disease”, and Antiguans and Barbudans have been “eating ourselves to death”.

“We no longer go to the vegetable markets, now we go to the supermarkets,” he stated. The minister noted that people need to take responsibility for their health and wellness.
Read more

Obesity Fight: Marathon Not a Sprint

Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (left) greets president of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), Dr Clive Lai at Thursday's opening ceremony for the MAJ's, symposium while Professor Alafia Samuels, director, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre at The University of the West Indies in Barbados, looks on. (Photo: Naphtali Junior) 
“Pork is red meat, people!” That was the message from Professor Alafia Samuels, director, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre at The University of the West Indies in Barbados, as she warned those in attendance at the opening ceremony for the Medical Association of Jamaica's 2018 Symposium Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday about allowing themselves to be misled.

“This white meat thing is marketing,” she insisted. “Pork is the other white meat? No! Chicken and fish are white meat, pork is not.”

Samuels was the guest speaker at the event which kicked off the three-day symposium being held under the theme 'Obesity: Do we even have a slim chance?'. 
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Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) Talks Health in Schools

MAJ talks health in schools
President of the Medical Association of Jamaica Dr Clive Lai speaking to a group of Norman Manley High School students at the Kingston institution (photo: Jamaica Observer)
Jamaica - Norman Manley High School students were last Tuesday schooled by doctors from the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) on how to lead healthier lives. In fact, the students have said they intend to share what they learnt in the session with their relatives so they, too, can lead healthier lives.

"We talked about healthy lifestyles and how they can avoid getting obese, or how to control obesity," consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Clive Lai told the Jamaica Observer after the session.

"We spoke about diet and we looked at the sugars in the drinks and in the food that you eat. Of course, we encouraged physical activity and how important it is to read the nutrition labels, and I think the children got the message," he said.
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Pharmacists Have Important Role to Play

Pharmacists Have Important Role to Play
Pharmacists in Barbados are not turning a blind eye to the high incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which is a major concern to local health officials.

This is according to President of the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society (BPS), Derek Catlyn, who was addressing the congregation at the St George Parish Church yesterday, where the Society officially marked the beginning of Pharmacy Week 2018.

He said the fact that the Ministry of Health has estimated that by the year 2030, 86.3 per cent of all deaths in Barbados will be caused by NCDs, is a situation that the BPS is monitoring closely.
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Agriculture Add-On To Sugary Drink Ban

Jamaica Gleaner Editorial: Jamaica dithered on doing something about the unhealthy foods fed to children in the island's schools. So, we are pleased about the ban on sugary drinks that is planned from next January. But sodas are not the only culprit for the epidemic of obesity and other lifestyle diseases. Jamaicans generally, and increasingly, eat unhealthily.

In this regard, schools are not a bad place to launch a major assault on poor nutrition. And the good thing is that it offers a potential policy lever the Government can engage to the benefit of the economy.

Non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and various cardiovascular aliments and cancers, account for more than seven out of 10 premature deaths in Jamaica, and their treatment consumes around a third of what the Government spends on healthcare. And the main precursor to this worsening problem is the country's crisis of obesity.
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Football World Cup is Golden Opportunity to Show Obesity the Red Card

By Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Obesity Federation. 
Football World Cup is Golden Opportunity to Show Obesity the Red Card
The World Cup begins this week but it turns out qualifying for one of the most prestigious international sporting events does not reflect the general health of a country’s population.

Despite each of the qualifying countries being home to the best football teams in the world, the prevalence of obesity is growing in every one of the 32 countries which have made it to the final. And instead of tackling the problem, FIFA has officially partnered with big soda, big food and big alcohol. It’s ironic that the drivers of the obesity crisis are allowed to sponsor elite athletic events. It should be banned. 

Instead of allowing this crisis to continue, now is the time for FIFA and national teams to drop unhealthy sponsorship deals, and for governments to recognise obesity as a disease, using taxation and regulation to fight against its causes.  
Read more

Jamaica Health Ministry Reiterates Commitment to Mental Health

Health ministry reiterates commitment to mental health
Jamaica - The Ministry of Health says it is committed to addressing the issue of mental illness as the sickness ranks among the most common non-communicable diseases in Jamaica according to the 2017 Mental Illness and Homelessness report.

In a statement today, the health ministry explained that too often this disease goes undiagnosed and untreated and each day the manifestations of the disease are seen through the abandonment of family members, homelessness, needless violence and suicide attempts.
Read more
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Interactive hearing, 5 July: concept and registration online
  • 'Taking the Pulse'. Devex launches series on NCDs
  • Collaboration and optimism: Fighting NCDs in Cameroon
  • Our Views, Our Voices advocacy training
  • IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion 2019
  • Medtronic Foundation Bakken Invitation: Apply now
Read more

NCD Alliance Digest

NCDs News  Risk Factors News 
Diabetes Discourse
  • 2018 Breakfast Fundraiser
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • In Loving Memory
  • Diabetes IQ
  • Upcoming Events
  • Special Thanks
  • Five Reasons for Heavy Sweating with Diabetes
  • Tips for Tasty & Healthy Meals
  • Calendar of Events
Read more
PAHO/WHO Barbados Newsletter
  • CDB and PAHO sign agreement to support Mental Health in aftermath of Natural Disasters
  • IAEA Helps Strengthen Radiation Medicine in the Caribbean
  • The Caribbean in Geneva for WHA71
  • PAHO and CARPHA signs 4 year framework agreement
  • High-Level Meeting on the Use of Law to tackle Noncommunicable Diseases
  • Caribbean celebrates Vaccination Week in the Americas
  • Subregional Workshop on Caribbean Roadmap on Human Resources for Universal Health 2018-2022
  • PAHO/WHO Barbados Office Celebrates World Health Day 2018
  • PAHO, Barbados and six Eastern Caribbean countries sign Multi-Country Cooperation Strategy
  • PAHO launches new study on migration of health workers in the Caribbean
  • Carissa F. Etienne begins second term as Director of PAHO
Read more

Children in England consuming 'Twice as Much Sugar as Recommended'

Children in England consuming 'twice as Much Sugar as Recommended'
Children in England have already consumed more than their recommended sugar intake for 2018, according to Public Health England survey - and we're only halfway through June.

Four to 10-year-olds are eating more than twice as much sugar as they should per day, equivalent to 13 sugar cubes.

That amounts to 4,800 sugar cubes on average by the end of the year, the survey revealed. It said sugary soft drinks, cake and pastries were the main causes.
Read more

Supermarket 'Guilt-lanes' and Two-for-one Junk Food Offers Will be Banned to Tackle child Obesity

Supermarket 'Guilt-lanes'
Supermarkets will be forced to ban "guilt lanes" at supermarket checkouts and end two-for-one offers on junk food under Government plans to tackle child obesity, The Telegraph has learned.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, is planning a wave of new legislation as part of a crackdown, including a 9pm watershed on advertising products high in sugar and salt from 2020.
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Key Messages From Our Publications
HCC Advocacy Priorities for the 3rd UNHLM on NCDs Outcome Document
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HCC Publications

Preparing CARICOM Ministries of Foreign Affairs for the 3rd UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs and Beyond
Preparing CARICOM Ministries of Foreign Affairs for the 3rd UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs and Beyond: a briefing note contribution from civil society
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The Caribbean NCD Forum – Technical Document
The Caribbean NCD Forum – Technical Document: Supporting national and regional advocacy in the Caribbean in the lead up to the 3rd UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2018
Read more
See All HCC Publications
Forthcoming Events

CARPHA 63rd Health Research Conference

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Cancer Support Services 7th Annual Conference Survive Alive - Saturday July 7, 2018 - Registration is Now Open 

Cancer Support Services 7th Annual Conference
Cancer Support Services will host its 7th Annual Conference “Survive Alive” on Saturday July 7, 2018 at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa, Rockley, Christ Church from 8:30am with speakers from the US, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Barbados.
This conference is open to Physicians, Nurses, Care-givers, Bereavement Support Groups, other NGOs, Patients and all interested persons.
To register call us at 228-7081. Download the form from our website
Topics you can expect to hear:
  • The Tale of Survivors
  • The Benefits of PET Scans for Cancer Patients
  • Your Guide to Life after Treatment - Part I: Taking Care of “The Body”: Diet & Exercise
  • The Future:  Changing Trends in Cancer Profiles: Youth at Risk! 
CME/CPE Credits will be awarded.
Closing date for Registration and payment will be Monday June 25, 2018. All payments should be made at Cancer Support Services’ office on Belmont Road, St. Michael.
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The 5th Biennial 2018 Science of Global Prostate Cancer

November 7 - 10th, 2018 at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Call for Abstracts
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Caribbean Cardiology Conference 2018

Caribbean Cardiology Conference 2018
Read more

World Cancer Conference 2018

World Cancer Conference 2018
Read more

World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health

World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health
Read more
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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.

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