The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

September 30th - October 6th 2016


HCC Celebrates World Obesity Day October 11th: Ending Childhood Obesity

World Obesity Day
HCC Celebrates World Obesity Day with the launch of our infographic on the sugar content of popular sugar sweetened beverages in the Caribbean.  
The consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) is one of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic among adults and children. In the Caribbean on average data shows that 1 in 3 children is overweight or obese. The sugar content of one serving of most popular carbonated beverages and juices far exceeds the entire daily maximum sugar intake for adults and children as recommended by the WHO and the American Heart Association (AHA). Skip Infographic
Taxation of sugar sweetened beverages is one element of a package of policy and programming interventions which supports healthier environments leading to lower consumption of SSBs. In the Caribbean, Barbados and Dominica have implemented taxation on SSBs. The Port of Spain Evaluation calls for, amongst other things, taxation on sugary drinks and was recognised in the recently held meeting of Health Ministers - COHSOD a brief review of the COHSOD Meeting can be found here.

For A Closer Look: The Implementation of Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages by the Government of Barbados. 2016, have a look at the HCC/NCD Alliance Policy Brief here.
The HCC has called for Caribbean Heads of Government to respond to the inundation of fast food restaurants in the Caribbean which are contributing to the exploding rates of obesity and overweight among our children.  Have a look at the President’s Caribbean Wellness Day Message
Professor Sir Trevor Hassell
The HCC President is also the Chair of the Barbados National NCD Commission. He was recently invited by the Barbados Workers Union to speak to young people about childhood obesity. See his remarks here where he discusses unhealthy school environments and calls for urgent change if we are to reverse the trends in increased weights among children and adolescents. You can also find media coverage here

WHO Global Consultation on the Implementation Plan for the Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity - Add your voice

The Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly, requested the Director-General to develop, in consultation with Member States and relevant stakeholders, an implementation plan guiding further action on the recommendations included in the Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. This is to be submitted, through the Executive Board at its 140th session, for consideration by the Seventieth World Health Assembly. The Draft Implementation Plan is now open for consultation. The deadline for feedback is October 12, 2016.
For regional related regional resources, have a look at the PAHO Plan of Action for the Prevention of Obesity in Children and Adolescents and the CARPHA Plan of Action for Promoting Healthy Weights in the Caribbean: Prevention and Control of Childhood Obesity (2014 - 2019)

Junk food shortening lives of children worldwide, data shows - Obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure at unprecedented levels due to spread of fast food and sugary drinks. Read more

HCC will be preparing country specific infographics to use in your local advocacy efforts.
Please share your World Obesity Day Activities with us AND any initiatives in your country (national or community based) which are being implemented to tackle childhood obesity. Please send feedback to us via email to

Thirtieth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)

Thirtieth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
The Thirtieth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), Health was held at the Pan America Health Organisation (PAHO) Headquarters Building, Washington, D.C. United States of America on Friday, 23rd September, 2016. The Meeting was chaired by Senator the Honourable Mary Isaac, Minister of Health of Saint Lucia. 

Within its packed agenda, COHSOD considered two items of particular importance to NCDs: 
i. Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (CCH IV)
ii Non Communicable Diseases 
The Caribbean Community has a long history of functional cooperation in health and the concept of CCH was adopted in 1984 to optimize the utilization of resources, promote technical cooperation among countries, develop and secure funding for the implementation of projects in selected priority health areas. 
CCH III covered the period 2010 – 2015 and many advancements were made during that period including establishment of CARPHA; regional cooperation around the implementation and evaluation of the Port-of-Spain Declaration on the prevention and control of NCDs with notably Caribbean Wellness Day being celebrated in all participating countries.
CCH IV which was approved by COHSOD is not a Strategic Plan but a Framework for coordinated action and collaboration for health among all partners in the Caribbean. Covering a longer period of nine years from 2016 -2015, it focuses on the production of Regional Public Goods (RPGs) to drive or complement national action for improving health. Five strategic priorities have been endorsed by COHSOD:  
  1. Health Systems for Universal Health Coverage
  2. Safe, resilient, health-promoting environments
  3. Health and well-being of Caribbean people throughout life course
  4. Data and evidence for decision making and accountability
  5. Partnership and Resource Mobilization (RM) for Health
  6. Prevention and control of NCDs is a major objective of priority #3. and there are many outputs relevant to NCDs in all the other priority areas.
The governance of this initiative reflects the “whole of society” approach; a range of actors from different sectors including civil society is represented on the Steering Committee. Civil society will be represented by HCC and one other organization to be selected. HCC is expected to play an important role, especially in keeping civil society informed about the progress of CCH IV.
The next steps include development and costing of three year action plans and initiating a communication strategy to keep all stakeholders engaged. 
ii. NCDs
COHSOD also considered recent progress in the implementation of the Port of Spain Declaration: Uniting to fight the chronic non communicable diseases. The findings of the evaluation of the implementation of the POSD were presented.
COHSOD noted that the meeting of the Conference of Head of Government, which was held in Georgetown, Guyana, 4-6 July, 2016, considered NCDs. COHSOD will be responsible for implementing the decisions of the Conference of Heads, including implementing policies to make CARICOM 100 percent smoke free in public spaces; implementing the standards for labelling of tobacco products; advocating for increased taxation on tobacco and alcohol and salty and sugary foods.
Several decisions of COHSOD are designed to increase resources for NCD campaigns at the national and regional levels: promotion of the inclusion of health development in the portfolio of the Caribbean Development Bank; identifying funding for research.
A high-level regional multi-sectoral task force is to be established to monitor the implementation of these commitments.

The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society Welcomes the 15% Tax Increase on Tobacco

The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society welcomes the 15 percent tax increase on tobacco, which will take effect on October 20, 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society
During the 2017 Budget presentation on Friday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert stated that it costs the Government $500,000 per year to treat one lung cancer patient, and announced that excise duty on locally-manufactured tobacco products would be increased by 15 percent, and alcoholic products by 20 percent. He also stated that customs duty on imported tobacco and alcohol products would be likewise increased. Read more

School is NO place for Junk Food, Says Heart & Stroke CEO

Unhealthy foods have no place in Barbados' schools and fast food establishments should be made to follow strict guidelines when targeting children.That's the view of Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados CEO Gina Pitts, who said removing vendors who sell high sugar, high salt products around schools was the key to resolving the issue of childhood NCDs.

Her comments follow the chairman of the Commission on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Sir Trevor Hassell's revelation that a third of local schoolchildren were overweight. Read more

Game Changing Lecture

The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, presents a lecture series in commemoration of Barbados' 50th Anniversary of Nationhood.
"Craftsmen of our fate": The Social Instruments of our Craft - Sir George Alleyne
"Craftsmen of our fate": The Social Instruments of our Craft - Sir George Alleyne.

"A Game changing lecture that will outline the trajectory of health, disease and wellness for the next 50 years in Barbados" - Dr. Kenneth Connell, Deputy Dean - Preclinical

Tuesday October 11th, 2016 at 7.30pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Roy Marshall teaching Complex, The UWI, Cave Hill Campus.

Read more

Fight Against NCDs Must 'Start From Childbirth'

Efforts to prevent the spread of non-communicable Diseases(NCDs) must start from Childbirth. That suggestion came from the CEO of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Gina Pitts in a response to concerns about the number of overweight and obese children in Barbados.

Recently, Sir Trevor Hassell, the chairman of the Commission on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and president of the HCC called for the sale of sweet drinks in schools as well as the sponsorships of sporting events and school activities by junk and fast food sellers to be stopped. Read more

The NCD Problem Regional Epidemiological Information

The NCD Problem Regional Epidemiological Information
Did you know?
  • NCD mortality in the Caribbean is the highest in the Americas;
  • Our diabetes prevalence is double global rates;
  • In some countries over 50% of the population has high blood pressure;
  • Less than a third of school children aged 13-15 years get the recommended level of physical activity?
Click here for the latest fact sheet from the POS Declaration Evaluation Team to get an up-to-date overview of the extent of the NCD epidemic for men, women and children.

For more NCD fact sheets and action guides click here.

Caribbean Countries Included in Lancet Health-related Sustainable Development Goals Analysis Report

Lancet Health-related Sustainable Development Goals Analysis Report
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago are amongst 188 countries included in a report by the Lancet 'Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015In September, 2015, the UN General Assembly established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs specify 17 universal goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators leading up to 2030. The Lancet provides an analysis of 33 health-related SDG indicators based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015). Read more

Caribbean Cardiac Society 32nd Caribbean Cardiology Conference - Call for Papers

Caribbean Cardiology Conference 2017
The Planning Committee of the 2017 Caribbean Cardiology Conference is pleased to announce that abstracts are now being accepted for the 2017 annual meeting. We hope you will take the opportunity to participate in and contribute to what we know will be an educational and engaging learning experience. We encourage you to participate by submitting one or more abstracts before January 31, 2017. Read more

SNMA @ SGU Hits The Ground Running in Grenada 

Some Members of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) of St. George's University (SGU) were spotted conducting a community outreach effort at St. George's Anglican Senior School on Friday September, 30, 2016. On the back of the SGU - SNMA  black t-shirts was the slogan, "Diversifying the Face of Medicine"
The campus student lead organization overall goal is to ensure that medical education and services are culturally sensitive to the needs of Grenada's diverse population.  Additionally, they seek to increase the number of African-American, Latino, and other students of color entering and completing medical school at SGU.  While visiting St. George's Anglican Senior School, SNMA of SGU provided presentations and demonstrations to the primary school students on biology.

SNMA is the United States' oldest and largest independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. Established in 1964 by medical students from Howard University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, the membership includes over 5000 medical students, pre-medical students, residents and physicians. It was birthed from the National Medical Association (NMA), which has been in existence since tense racial times of 1895, and continues to welcome all physicians of African descent. 

Launch of New Partnerships and Commitments for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States

Launch of New Partnerships and Commitments
The first annual Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue was held on 22 September 2016 during the 71st session of the General Assembly as a High-level Breakfast Event, focusing on the launch of new partnerships devoted to SIDS, and the announcement of new commitments from existing SIDS partnerships.

The Dialogue is an integral of the SIDS Partnership Framework which was launched by the General Assembly in 2016 as a follow-up to the SIDS Conference, held in Samoa in 2014. The Framework is one of a kind at the United Nations in following up and monitoring progress of voluntary commitments from multi-stakeholder partnerships aimed at driving sustainable development in Small Island Developing States. Read more

Partnerships on Small Island Developing States 2016

Partnerships on Small Island Developing States 2016
Steering Committee on SIDS Partnerships and UN-DESA, 2016

It has now been two years since the conclusion of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, its groundbreaking outcome document the SAMOA Pathway, and the announcement of over 300 partnerships devoted to the sustainable development of SIDS and the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway. What has worked and what has not worked, for these partnerships? Read the report here

Be Smart Drink Water

A guide for school principals in restricting the sale and marketing of sugary drinks in and around schools.
A report by the WHO Western Pacific Region - Drinking safe water is the best way for children to stay healthy and quench thirst.

Water is the best choice for children to restore the fluids their bodies have lost, for example, through sweating. If children lose too much water, they become ‘dehydrated’ and their bodies cannot function properly. Drinking safe water is the best way for children to stay hydrated. Sugary drinks often provide unnecessary calories, and in the case of sodas, no benefit to health. Indeed, they cause dental decay and obesity.
Children have learnt to like sugary and flavoured drinks, but their bodies just need safe drinking water. Children could and should get the fluids they need from water and the nutrients and calories they need from food. Read more

One in Six Young People Eat Fast Food 'Twice a Day'

One in Six Young People Eat Fast Food 'Twice a Day'
In the UK one in six young people eat fast food twice a day, according to a survey of the nation's eating habits. The BBC Good Food Nation Survey found that most people ate fast food on average two days per week.

But in the 16 to 20-year-old category, one in six ate fast food at least twice a day, with one in eight among 21 to 34-year-olds eating as frequently. The study of more than 5,000 people found that half of them thought "a meal isn't a meal without meat". However, the same proportion were unaware of how much meat is a recommended daily amount. Read more
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados
Speaking is easy for some...
However for many persons in our population it is not so easy. 

Stroke - Myth Buster
Some myths and some truths...

Read more here.
The Inaugural Caribbean Cancer Survivorship Conference 2016

The 62nd Annual CARPHA Health Research Conference Guyana 2017 - Call for Papers

The theme for 2017 is ‘Climate Change, the Environment and Human Health”, however, CARPHA will also accept quality research papers in all priority health areas (e.g. NCD, HIV, Health Systems, etc.). Climate change, the environment and human health comprises topics such as food and vector borne disease, food and waste security, transportation, natural and environmental disasters, global threats, waste management, air quality, noise pollution, structural hazards etc. The Call for Papers Deadline is November 1st 2016Read more
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • NCD Café at the 2016 World Cancer Congress
  • Dr Margaret Chan and Michael Bloomberg call for political will in the fight against NCDs
  • Healthy India Alliance launches new website
  • Global action plan on public health response to dementia
  • GACD is funding $55 million for projects on lung diseases
  • On World Mental Health Day, WHO looks at psychological first aid
  • Web-consultation: Measuring contributions of NSAs to global NCD targets
Read more

Job Vacancies

Career Opportunity – Chief Executive Officer for an NGO
The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB), is seeking to recruit a dynamic individual with strong principles, business acumen and commitment to national/community development to join their team as Chief Executive Officer.
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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