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The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

November 18th - November 24th 2017


Heart Foundation of Jamaica Takes Aim at Obesity

The Heart Foundation of Jamaica has launched a massive obesity prevention campaign, dubbed 'Are you drinking yourself sick?to encourage Jamaicans to reduce the amount of added sugar in their diets.
Are you drinking yourself sick? (click to play)
According to the foundation's executive director, Deborah Chen, Jamaicans are consuming far more sugar than the suggested amount without even being aware of it.

While speaking at the launch of the Global Health Advocacy Campaign: Obesity Prevention at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on Friday, Chen issued an impassioned plea.

She demonstrated how a 20 fl oz bottle of soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages can contain more than 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is the total amount of sugar recommended for an entire day.
According to the foundation, these beverages have no nutritional value and are harmful to the body, since a lot of the sugar that is absorbed may end up being stored as fat or glycogen deposits in the liver.

The point was made that excess sugar intake is a major contributor to obesity among adults and children, which further increases the risks for liver diseases, diabetes, some cancers, and other non-communicable diseases.

Chen said: “The objective of this campaign is to halt obesity.”

See more pictures from the campaign launch here.

Original Media coverage:
Related video: Plans to stop the sale of bag juices in schools - these juices may contain high concentrations of sugar, watch here.

HCC Obesity Action

Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean
Civil Society action Plan 2017-2021: Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean
Sugar in the Caribbean Infographics
Sugar in the

Key Messages From Our Publications
Cross Cutting
Read more

Alcohol and Cancer in the  Caribbean Webinar Recording

2nd Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD)
Alcohol and Cancer in the Caribbean (click to play)
On November 17th the HCC with the support of partners PAHO, CARPHA and CARICOM HCC hosted the 2nd Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day. The theme this year was: Drink Less, Reduce your Cancer Risk.

As part of Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day a webinar entitled 'Alcohol and Cancer in the Caribbean' took place. 

Global and regional experts discussed the harmful use of alcohol and its intersection with cancer risk, and explore the policy options to reduce the harmful use of alcohol among Caribbean people.

The presenters were: Dr. Kevin Shield, Independent Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Head, WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH),  Dr. Maristela Monteiro, Senior Advisor Alcohol and Substance Abuse, PAHO and Dr. Rohan Maharaj, HCC Alcohol Policy Advisor. Watch the recording of the webinar by clicking below.

Watch Webinar

Alcohol and Cancer Infographic Series

A series of eleven Infographic panels relating to 'Alcohol and Cancer in Caribbean' was produced in support of Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day.

We urge all Cancer Organisations and indeed everyone in the region to engage in alcohol reduction advocacy, to work towards a healthier Caribbean, start by sharing this infographic widely.
Alcohol and Cancer Infographic Series
View/Download the Infographic

Lancet Editorial: Alcohol and Cancer

The Lancet
The Nov 7 publication of Alcohol and Cancer: a Statement of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) emphasises the prominence of alcohol as a proven cause of many cancers. This view is not novel and comes exactly 30 years after a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that alcoholic beverages were carcinogenic to humans. It has been echoed by other cancer societies since then but seemingly ignored by the wider medical community and by society. The influential endorsement by ASCO provides a powerful impetus to act on decades of evidence that alcohol harms health.
Read more

 Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm (AWARH)

The 5th Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm took place last week, 20-24 November.

The WHO European region has the highest proportion of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol. One fifth of the population aged 15 years and above report heavy episodic drinking at least once a week. Alcohol is known to be a causal factor in over 60 diseases and conditions, including at least 7 types of cancer. 1 in 8 alcohol-related deaths are due to cancer.

As part of the campaign an Alcohol and Cancer infographic was produced.
Read more

HCC Welcomes Newest Technical Advisor Professor Alafia Samuels

Professor Alafia Samuels
HCC would like to formally welcome our newest Technical Advisor Professor Samuels who will serve the HCC as an Advisor in Policy and Practice. Prof. Samuels is the Director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, a unit of The UWI’s Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies. She is a medical doctor, trained at UWI Mona. She also holds a MPH (Masters in Public Health) and a PhD in Chronic Disease Epidemiology, both degrees awarded with honors from Johns Hopkins University. 
She has worked for the Ministry of Health, Jamaica, as adviser to CARICOM, Advisor at the Pan American Health Organisation/WHO, and in the private and public health sectors.

Prof. Samuels is an appointed member of the multi-sectoral Barbados National NCD (Non Communicable Diseases) Commission and was the principal author of the Barbados Ministry of Health Strategic Plan of Action for NCDs 2015-2019, and the CARICOM/PAHO Strategic Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases. She is also a recently appointed member of the Governing Council of NCD Child. Her research interests include policy and practice in NCD prevention and control, clinical quality of care and evaluation of NCD programmes. Prof. Samuels joins HCC’s growing group of technical advisors.
Prof. Samuels recently sat down with HCC’s project assistant Kaylie Miller to discuss NCDs and her role as the first female director of the CDRC. 
Watch the interview here

Caribbean Women Have Higher Rate of Obesity...
it's Killing Them

Caribbean Women Have Higher Rate of Obesity...
Diabetes, a major contributor to premature death, is estimated to affect 10-15% of the adult population in the Caribbean Region.

The disease is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke and responsible for high rates of complications, such as lower limb amputation.

The risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes are obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥30), abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco smoking, unhealthy diets and metabolic syndrome. Obesity is the strongest modifiable risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes in the Caribbean.

CARPHA Director for Surveillance, Prevention and Control Dr. Virginia Asin-Oostburg has said, “Studies have revealed that women in the Caribbean have higher rates of obesity in terms of BMIs compared to men.  They also have higher rates of abdominal obesity, and likely to be 3 times more obese than men.” She also stated that, “Obesity and physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes. This is confirmed by the very high levels of diabetes among women in the Region.” 
Read more
Read the related original CARPHA Press release here.

Encouraging Cities to Think About Tobacco Taxes as a Cancer Prevention Tool

Encouraging Cities to Think About Tobacco Taxes as a Cancer Prevention Tool
At last week’s World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, participants had the opportunity to focus on and celebrate the C/Can2025: City Cancer Challenge initiative, which is designed to improve cancer treatment and care services in cities with a population of greater than 1 million. We recognised that all cities or countries face resource constraints when dealing with the growing cancer burden and that local governments and health providers must adopt a strategic approach to ensure that health services – including cancer services - are fit for purpose today and can keep up with future demand.

Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) encourages city leaders to think about high tobacco taxes as a cancer prevention tool.
Read more
HCC is a proud member of Prevent20 - the global coalition of CSOs advocating for tobacco taxation.

Click here for all the latest news and updates from Prevent20.

NCD Alliance Webinar: Tuesday 28th November

The next NCD Alliance webinar is Tuesday 28 November from 10:00–11:30 EST // 16:00 – 17:30 CET.
Updates on 'Our Views Our Voices', Plans for the 2018 High-level Meeting, environmental health and COP23, and the upcoming Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah. 
Click here for more information.

Activities in Commemoration of World Diabetes Day 2017 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, in collaboration with PAHO, hosted a week-long training workshop for a total of 24 Staff Nurses, Nursing Assistants and Community Health Aides on Chronic Diseases Self-Management. 

The Diabetes and Hypertension Association in collaboration Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment commenced activities to mark World Diabetes Day 2017, on Sunday 12th November, with the “Views on Issues Programme” on NBC Radio 705.
On Monday 13th November 2017, a Symposium was held at Frenches House from 8:30 am - 3 pm, targeting women who were newly diagnosed with Diabetes. See pictures from the symposium here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017, Address to the Nation on World Diabetes Day 2017, by Honourable R. T. Luke V. Browne, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment read here.
On Thursday 16th 2017, a women’s conference was held at Methodist Church Hall covering a wide range of very important topics pertaining to women and Diabetes.
The week ended with a free screening for diabetes to be conducted in the atrium of the Central Vegetable Market in Kingstown.
Activities in Commemoration of World Diabetes Day 2017 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (click to play)

Diabetes in Pregnancy Photo Contest

Diabetes in Pregnancy Photo Contest
Together with the World Diabetes Foundation, Women Deliver seeks to elevate the issue of gestational diabetes by holding a photo contest across three countries India, China and Nigeria.

Diabetes triggered by pregnancy affects 1 in 7 births - and the vast majority of women affected live in low-and middle-income countries. Women with unmanaged diabetes in pregnancy run a higher risk of having infants with excessive birth weight, or macrosomia, which can lead to complications such as obstructed labor and an increased risk for maternal and newborn death and disabilities. In the long term, unmanaged diabetes in pregnancy will contribute to the rising global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as more than half of all women with gestational diabetes (or onset of diabetes only during pregnancy) will develop type 2 diabetes within five years of delivery.
Read more

Cancer Support Services Signs MOU with QEH to Continue to Support Ward C12

Cancer Support Services Signs MOU with QEH to Support Ward C12
On November 14, 2017 Cancer Support Services and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital signed an official Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions as the Charity continues its commitments to Ward C12 which was adopted in April 1998.

Here are some photos from this milestone event.

Dark Hair Dye and Chemical Relaxers Linked to Breast Cancer

Dark Hair Dye and Chemical Relaxers Linked to Breast Cancer
African-American and white women who regularly chemically straightened their hair or dyed it dark brown or black had an elevated risk of breast cancer, recent research suggests.

“I would be concerned about darker hair dye and hair straighteners,” epidemiologist Tamarra James-Todd said after reviewing the report in Carcinogenesis. “We should really think about using things in moderation and really try to think about being more natural".

“Just because something is on the market does not necessarily mean it’s safe for us,”
she said in a phone interview. 
Read more

Launch of Special Initiative to Address Climate Change Impact on Health in Small Island Developing States

At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), WHO, in collaboration with the UN Climate Change secretariat and in partnership with the Fijian Presidency of the twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23), has launched a special initiative to protect people living in Small Island Developing States from the heath impacts of climate change.

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries.
Read more

Cancer in populations of African Ancestry: studies of the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium

Among all non-communicable diseases, cancer is the second cause of death worldwide. Although some cancers are preventable and treatable and even curable, cancer remains the most common cause of death among populations of African Ancestry worldwide.

The studies represent the ongoing research of members of an international collaborative consortium: the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3). AC3 is supported by the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) in NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Over the past 10 years, the AC3 has built a network of collaborations that is multidisciplinary including Epidemiology, Medicine, Molecular biology, Genetics/Genomics, Behavioral Science, Community Health Science, Cancer Registration, and Advocacy. The goal being to promote collaboration to address cancer in the African Diaspora.
Read more
In this edition:
  • SCI News and Events
  • SCI in Pictures
  • Rounds Round-Up
  • SCI 5th AGM
  • Operations Summary 
  • Letter from the Co-Chairs 
Read more

Call for Poster Abstracts - Due Date: December 12, 2017

The 6th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research will be held on March 15,2018, prior to the start of the 9th Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Global Health Conference. The objectives of this full-day Symposium on Global Cancer Research are to provide: (1) A comprehensive overview of the role of research in addressing local and global disparities in cancer care and control; (2) A stimulating and engaging forum for knowledge sharing; and (3) An environment that facilitates new collaborations to advance our knowledge and practice aimed at overcoming cancer disparities.

Presentation of cutting-edge research and programs that address the global burden of cancer is at the heart of the Symposium. The organizers invite all persons wishing to report original research, innovative projects, or novel programs related to global cancer research and control to submit abstracts to be considered for posters and publication in the Journal of Global Oncology (JGO).

Abstracts will be collected through two categories:
  • Scientific – original research (abstract must include sections with the headlines: background, aims, methods, results, and significance).
  • Program – innovative projects that move the field forward (abstracts must include sections with the headlines: background, goals, methods, outcomes, and next steps).
Read more

NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention Program

The National Cancer Institute (NCI)
The 2018 NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention is currently accepting applications!
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) hosts the “NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention” every year in Rockville, Maryland. The Curriculum provides training in cancer control, prevention, and research for domestic and international scientists and health care professionals. The Principles and Practice of Cancer Control Course, to be held July 9 - August 3, 2018, focuses on concepts, methods, issues, and applications related to cancer prevention and control. The Molecular Prevention Course, to be held August 6-10, 2018, provides a strong background in the molecular biology and genetics of cancer and an overview of basic laboratory approaches applied to cutting-edge research in the fields of molecular epidemiology, chemoprevention, biomarkers, and translational research.
The application deadline is February 1, 2018. A limited amount of financial support may be available for selected meritorious applications from low- and middle-income countries. 
Read more

HCC Publications

NCDs and Trade Policy in the Caribbean
NCDs and Trade Policy
in the Caribbean
Policy Brief

Civil Society Collaborating to Provide Integrated NCD / Sexual and Reproductive Health Service Delivery in Barbados
Civil Society Collaborating to Provide Integrated NCD / Sexual and Reproductive Health Service Delivery in Barbados
See All HCC Publications
IDF Congress 2017
The global diabetes community will again unite at the IDF 2017 Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 4-8 December 2017. The event will include more than 200 speakers, both world-renowned and newcomers, 230 national diabetes associations from 170 countries and high level participation from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and other health organisations.
Read more

Caribbean Cardiology Conference 2018

Caribbean Cardiology Conference 2018
Read more

World Cancer Conference 2018

World Cancer Conference 2018
Read more
The NCD Alliance
  • CEO Katie Dain to co-chair civil society working group
  • NCDA Webinar: 28th November
  • NCDs civil society awards
  • WHO EB meets to review General Programme of Work
  • Enter the Diabetes in Pregnancy photo contest
  • NOURISHING database
  • WHF Emerging Leaders Programme
  • Call for Input NCD Alliance Advocacy priorities for the 2018 UNHLM on NCDs
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 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
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.
Copyright © 2017 Healthy Caribbean Coalition, All rights reserved.

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