The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

June 17th - June 23rd 2016


CARPHA Creating a Platform for Action: Stakeholder Dialogue Improving the Healthiness of Food Environments in the Caribbean 

Earlier this week on June 22, 2016, CARPHA hosted a Stakeholder Dialogue Improving the Healthiness of Food Environments in the Caribbean as part of their 61st Annual CARPHA Health Research Conference.  The dialogue provided the opportunity to bring varied stakeholder views and experiences to bear on this pressing health challenge, to learn from the research evidence and from the views and experiences of a wide cross section of participants, and to leave the event well positioned to champion efforts to address this health issue. 

HCC was well represented at the meeting by Sir Trevor, HCC President and HCC Advisors in Policy and Trade Policy, Nicole Foster and Vincent Atkins respectively. Nicole, also an Attorney-at-Law and Law Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Cave Hill Campus, University of the West Indies, Barbados commented: 
'Overall the dialogue was a very productive exercise. There was a good and appropriate mix of the various stakeholders in the NCDs battle which, together with the ‘dialogue’ format that was utilised, facilitated useful and concrete interactions among and between participants. I am really glad I attended and had an opportunity to make a contribution to the deliberations.’ 
HCC Special Advisors in Policy and Trade Policy, Nicole Foster and Vincent Atkins
Vincent Atkins also LDC Trade Policy/Technical Advisor in the Office of Trade Negotiations at the CARICOM Secretariat noted that: 

'The workshop highlighted the importance of multi-sectoral dialogue in the efforts to improve the healthiness of the food environment in the Caribbean and in particular allowed for a thorough discussion on the evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of the whole-of- government and whole-of-society approaches in addressing non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean. It also highlighted the importance of the legislative process in implementation of measures to address NCDs.  In my own view, there is a dire need to address the governance of multi-sectoral collaboration in health to ensure that the institutional framework to ensure successful outcomes is properly addressed.’
In this regard Vincent will be attending a symposium organised by the John Hopkins University School of Public Health in Bellagio, Italy next week from 27 June to 1 July. The symposium will focus on Governance of Multi-sectoral Collaboration for Health in Low and Middle Income Countries.  The purpose is to accelerate learning and action among key players for stronger governance of multi-sectoral collaboration for health within low and middle income countries. 23 experts will meet to discuss five papers on the topic. Vincent will be the discussant on a paper Multi-sectoral Governance for NCDS in European Countries: what can be learnt for lower and middle income countries. 
CARPHA Evidence Brief

CARPHA Evidence Brief

The CARPHA Evidence Brief for Improving the Healthiness of Food Environments in the Caribbean was launched at the Stakeholder Dialogue. Dr. Andrea Harewood, Senior Health Policy Analyst at CARPHA, and co-author of the evidence brief noted that each time CARPHA conducts a dialogue, they prepare an evidence brief on the issue.

The briefs are developed to present the available research evidence on the issue in order to inform deliberations during the dialogue.
Dr. Harewood shared the key messages emerging from the dialogue:
  1. Focus on children adopting a rights-based approach
  2. Draw on experience from responses to tobacco and HIV
  3. Explore options for developing model legislation for the region
  4. Explore multisectoral engagement at the political level, that is, politicians vs technocrats
  5. Explore avenues for reaching out to average citizens to stimulate a bottom up response
  6. Develop networks of civil society organizations at the national level
  7. Strengthen the role of consumer associations/groups
Click here for the meeting materials. For more information and updates on the 61st Annual CARPHA Health Research Conference visit the website here and their facebook page here.

HCC Commends and Fully Supports Powerful Stance Taken Against Fast Food

Chefette Warned
Fast Food Chain Chefette Restaurants has been warned by a top advisor in chronic diseases against its targeting of children for its foods.

In a stinging rebuke of the company, director of the Chronic Disease Research at the University of the West Indies Dr Alafia Samuels said Chefette’s deliberate marketing of targeting children was actually defying the global recommendations to fight childhood obesity.
She was unapologetic as she spoke this week on the topic, Accelerating the NCD Agenda – Towards a Better Caribbean Stronger Together, at the UWI Cave Hill Campus on Wednesday June 13th, 2016.

Samuels said she had no qualms about putting her “neck on the block” because fast-food was resulting in too many obese and unhealthy children.

The World Health Organisation states that childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century.
Overweight and obese children typically grow into overweight and obese adults, who are susceptible to chronic complaints such as diabetes and cardio vascular disease which place considerable burdens on national health systems and economies.

Article also appeared on the Nation News website here.

ACS Pays Tribute to Cancer Survivors at the Jamaica Cancer Society Relay for Life

CHIEF medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, Dr Otis Brawley
Chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society (ACS), paid tribute to cancer survivors at the Jamaica Cancer Society Relay for Life held on Saturday June 11, 2016.  Dr. Otis Brawley, is responsible for promoting the goals of cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education.

He champions efforts to decrease smoking, improve diet, detect cancer at the earliest stage, and provide the critical support cancer patients need. He also guides efforts to enhance and focus the research programmes, upgrade the society’s advocacy capacity, and concentrate community cancer control efforts in areas where they will be most effective.
Team Mela-No-More
Dr Brawley is a global leader in the field of health disparities research, and plays an integral role in the American Cancer Society’s efforts to eliminate disparities in access to quality cancer care.

Executive Director of the Jamaica Cancer Society Yulit Gordon said:

'Relay for Life is the Jamaica Cancer Society's largest fundraiser and cancer awareness initiative. Through this event, the Society is able to contribute to the global cancer research initiatives, expand and sustain its public health education and advocacy programmes and provide support to newly diagnosed cancer patients'

Read more.

Buyers Told to Use Less Salt, Sugar

Cautioning customers about overusing sugar and salt
TOO MUCH sugar and salt is not good for you. Use sparingly. Such a simple, health conscious slogan would look perfect in a doctor's office or another health facility but this particular one can be found in the Emerald City and Carlton Supermarkets — right in front of the same sugar and salt shelves as the supermarkets have embarked on a simple yet industry leading venture. Managing director Andrew Bynoe said it was all part of his effort to raise the nation's health consciousness, dismissing any talk of profits, or loss thereof. "This is our effort to cause people to be conscious of their health. Sugar and salt are known causes of non-communicable diseases such as hardening of the arteries [atherosclerosis] and diabetes, so am contributing to the consciousness of the nation's health," he said. Read more
HCC supports this outstanding initiative, it is an excellent example of the private sector working with Government and CSO's in a whole of society effort to tackle NCDs

Pacific Non-communicable Diseases Summit Theme: Translating Global and Regional Commitments into Local Action - An Opportunity for Learning from Pacific SIDS

Pacific Non-communicable Diseases Summit Theme
NCDs – primarily heart disease, cancers, lung disease and diabetes – are the leading cause of death in the Pacific, with life expectancy declining in some Pacific Island countries as a result of NCD-related premature deaths.

In addition, there is a significant socio-economic burden placed on many Pacific Island countries and territories that are unable to provide essential medicines and services for preventing and caring for people with NCDs.

Some 140 participants attended. The adopted outcomes document will be made available on this webpage. Among its objectives, the Pacific NCD Summit reviewed how Pacific Island countries and territories are implementing their NCD activities aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Samoa Pathway.

The participants also:
  • reviewed progress with the Pacific NCD Roadmap in an effort to accelerate implementation
  • sought to strengthen current funding arrangements, and
  • explored new sources of funding; and create opportunities for South-South collaboration in implementing good practice to address NCDs.
Read more

Related articles:

Global Food & Beverage Companies Commit to Trans Fat Phase-Out Worldwide

Trans Fat Phase Out
Eleven of the largest global food and beverage companies pledge to phase out industrially produced trans fat by the end of 2018.
GENEVA -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) have taken another step in progressing the commitments they first made to the World Health Organization in 2008 with the adoption of a worldwide commitment to phase out industrially produced trans fatty acids (TFAs) in their products.

Building on the significant individual progress made to date and aiming to minimize intake of industrially produced TFAs, IFBA members have agreed a common global objective to reduce TFAs in their products to nutritionally insignificant levels (less than 1 gram of trans fat per 100 grams of product) worldwide by the end of 2018 at the latest. Read more
Why is this relevant for the Caribbean? The Caribbean has an excessively high annual food import bill leading to the proliferation of non-domestic unhealthy foods populating our supermarket shelves. The IFBA is a group of eleven global food and non-alcoholic beverage companies - The Coca-Cola Company, Ferrero, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Kellogg, Mars, McDonald’s, MondelēzInternational, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever.  The HCC would like to see similar commitments from regionally-owed CARICOM based food manufacturers. 
Are There Any Successful Policies and Programmes to Fight Overweight and Obesity?

Are There Any Successful Policies and Programmes to Fight Overweight and Obesity?

An Ongoing Discussion - Open until: 5th July 2016.
The formulation and implementation of public policies and programmes to prevent, monitor and reduce overweight and obesity pose a challenge, both for Latin America and the Caribbean and for most regions in the world.

Overweight and obesity are considered a severe public health issue in many countries, requiring urgent measures at all levels, including the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of adequate policies and programmes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.9 billion adults (over the age of 18) were overweight in 2014, and 600 million were obese. Furthermore, 42 million children under five were overweight or obese in 2013. Take part here

Barbados Diabetes Foundation’s Second Annual Multidisciplinary Diabetes Conference

The two-day conference had as its theme Digging Deeper – More Than Meets the Eye and was attended by over 100 medical practitioners who participated in workshops and lecture sessions.

Speaking at the recently held conference, Dr Christopher Blanco, of the Miami-based Baptist Health system said 'a lot of money, lives and limbs can be saved if a multi-disciplinary approach is adopted in caring for the feet of diabetics'. This approach required patients consulting a number of specialists, including the endocrinologist, vascular surgeon, nutritionist, plastic surgeon and physical rehab specialist.
Read more
UN Standing Committee on Nutrition & CFS

Webcast - Trade and Nutrition: Opportunities and Risks

On Friday 10 June, Michel Mordasini, Chair of UNSCN and Vice-President of IFAD and Ambassador Amira Gornass, Chair of CFS hosted the UNSCN event on "Trade and Nutrition: Opportunities and Risks". This event aimed to increase common understanding about healthy diets in the context of trade and value chains. It highlights the opportunities and constraints in enhancing coherence between trade policy and nutrition action.
More than 130 CFS stakeholders and representatives from civil society, the private sector and academia attended the event.

Highlights of the event:
  • It contributed to create the base for a common understanding about healthy diets and the need for a conducive food environment
  • It positioned nutrition as an important starting point and outcome for development
  • It highlighted the importance of policy coherence to achieve nutrition outcomes
  • It is important to build the evidence base about the impact of trade on nutrition, to inform trade negotiations
  • It is essential to involve all actors in the value chain in order to make it more nutrition sensitive
See the webcast here.

Climate Change the Biggest Threat to Global Health

Climate Change
According to international health authorities Lancet, "Climate change could be the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century. Effects on health of climate change will be felt by most populations in the next decades and put the lives and well-being of billions of people at increased risk. During this century, the Earth's average surface temperature rises are likely to exceed the safe threshold of 2oC above pre-industrial average temperature.

Authorities around the world are now seeking to drive home the magnitude of the situation and mobilise countries into action to mitigate the impact. This was the focus of this year's staging of the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF), hosted at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, Dominica from May 30-31, where Caribbean meteorologists and international climate researchers held discussions with stakeholders in climate-sensitive sectors. Read more

Related article: Dominica releases findings of study on climate change and health vulnerability.

Family Breakdown, Diabetes Link

The breakdown in the family structure is one of the major hindrances to tackling obesity in Barbados, some health care experts have said and they are mostly pointing the finger at adults with poor eating habits who are failing to set good examples for children, a problem they say is contributing to the high rate of diabetes in the country. The issue was identified during a discussion on the topic Obesity; The Family Disease, held recently at the Maria Holder Diabetes Centre, Warrens, St Michael. Read more

Alcohol and the Sustainable Development Goals

THE LANCET - The inclusion of a focus on alcohol consumption within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) illustrates the increased diversity of the new global development agenda. Recognition of alcohol as a development issue reflects its multiple social and economic impacts as well as the 3·3 million annual deaths, or 5·9% of all global deaths, that result from its consumption. SDG 3.5 aims to “strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol”. Considerable advances in alcohol policy will be necessary to achieve this and other SDG targets, including the reduction of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by a third by 2030. Read more

Related Report: PAHO Meeting on Alcohol Marketing Regulation: Final Report
PAHO Meeting on Alcohol Marketing Regulation: Final Report
Need for alcohol marketing regulation - Alcohol marketing is constantly evolving and utilizes multiple channels including radio, television, sports and music events, websites, social media, mobile phones, and product placements in movies and TV shows Marketers are moving increasingly to digital and social media, where industry innovations in creating use engagement and brand ambassadorship (e.g. using celebrities to promote brands) have far outpaced regulatory and self-regulatory efforts. Read here

Pioneering treatment for hypertension succeeds in the Caribbean

For the first time in the Caribbean region, surgeons at Health City Cayman Islands successfully performed an operation which relieves serious hypertension. Senior Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at Health City Cayman Islands, Dr. Ravi Kishore performed the procedure known as renal denervation on Caymanian Allan Ebanks.
Mr. Ebanks had been diagnosed with resistant hypertension symptoms that were not being controlled by conventional treatment. “It was so bad sometimes that I couldn’t walk, climb steps, without me having to have to stop,” said Ebanks. Read more

Cancer Support Services Annual Conference 2016

Cancer Support Services Annual Conference 2016
Cancer Support Services 5th Annual Conference, “Surviving Cancer” will take place at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa July 2, 2016. With international speakers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and 21st Century Oncology in Miami. 
  • How Do We Define Survivorship after a Cancer Diagnosis?
  • The Long-term Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
  • Dealing with Cancer Recurrence
  • Coping with the emotions after a diagnosis of a cancer
  • Life After Cancer
  • The Follow-up Care After Cancer Treatment
Registration is now open! For more information on registration, please call 228-7081. Credits are available. Registration closes on June 27, 2016.

Read more
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Latest
What do you expect...
When you purchase items from the reputable brands do you expect safety or comfort? Maybe reliability...

We've Noticed...
St. Luke's Church members are getting active. One entity that is giving their members' health some priority, is that of St. Luke's Anglican Church.

Read more from the Heart & Stroke Foundation newsletter here.

Teens 'Order Fast Food Deliveries At School'

Fast food at school
Experts describe a poll which suggests 25% of teenagers get takeaways delivered to their playground as "great cause for concern".

Obesity campaigners are calling for new restrictions on fast food outlets after a survey revealed that one in four teenagers have ordered a takeaway to be delivered to their playground at school.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), which polled a small number of 13 to 18-year-olds for their perspective on childhood obesity, has warned further "hard-hitting measures" are needed to tackle the epidemic. Read more
NGO Mental Health Recommendation
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NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Accelerating action on UHC
  • 'Love your bones, protect your future' campaign launched
  • New blog: How did your last
  • conference make you feel?
  • WHO GCM/NCDs update
  • Update on Follow-up and Review of the 2030 Agenda
  • Ending childhood obesity
  • FREE Physical Activity MOOC
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.
'Float like a butterfly & sting like a bee, RIP the greatest, Muhammed Ali'
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.
Copyright © 2016 Healthy Caribbean Coalition, All rights reserved.

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