SDG UN Summit
The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

August 7th - August 13th 2015


Taxes to be Increased on Alcohol, Cigarettes and High Sugar Foods in Dominica

Taxes to be Increased on Alcohol, Cigarettes and High Sugar Foods in Dominica
The HCC applauds the Government of Dominica for announcing an increase of 10% tax on cigars, cigarettes, alcohol beverages, as well as food and drinks with a a high sugar content. The new rates will become effective from September 1st, 2015.

Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit justified this new tax measure by citing the “bad practices” of smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and foods with high sugar content, as major contributors to ill health. “While we have introduced interventions to encourage physical activity, there is need to take action to reduce the consumption of substances, which have a direct causal link to the incidence of CNCD’s,” he said.

The HCC has also sent a letter of congratulations to the Government of Dominica.
Read it here.
For press coverage click here.

New Healthy Caribbean Coalition Team Member to Help Deliver the Message on NCD Progress

Joan Tull POSDEVAL Information and Communication Officer
HCC would like to welcome a new Information and Communications Officer,  Ms Joan Tull, who has been appointed to spread the word on a special project which takes stock of how far the Caribbean has progressed in tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and how far we still have to go.  Ms. Tull has been hired through the IDRC (link to IDRC website) funded project entitled: The Evaluation of the Port of Spain Declaration: Seven Years On.  HCC is one of the partners on this UWI-led, regional, multi-partner project.
The 2007 Port of Spain Declaration, signed by CARICOM Heads of Government, contained a number of ambitious commitments aimed at uniting to stop the epidemic of NCDs in the region. A wide-ranging, in-depth and exhaustive evaluation is now taking place to gauge the impact of the Declaration and to help speed up its further implementation.
Ms Tull will be communicating the details of this evaluation to a broad audience, including ministers, policy makers, civil society, the media, health professionals, the private sector and people living with NCDs. She intends to work closely with our partners at the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Regional Health Communications Network, CARICOM, PAHO and UWI to ensure that the evaluation is placed firmly on the health and development agenda across the region. First results are due next year.

As a media professional, Ms Tull has many years of experience with the United Nations and the BBC. In the course of her career she has worked in a number of countries to develop communication projects, campaigns, plans, launches and advocacy materials. She has also written extensively for UNAIDS, including publications, numerous web stories, high-level speeches, policy briefs, newspaper articles and op-eds, as well producing and presenting radio programmes for the BBC World Service.


Project HOPE Making a Difference in the Lives of Caribbean People

Project HOPE making a difference in the lives of Caribbean people
The President and Executive Director of the HCC had the honour of touring the US Naval Ship Comfort on Sunday August 9th while it was a port in Barbados. The visit was arranged by Dr. Jacob Gayle, Vice President, Medtronic Philanthropy/ President, Medtronic Foundation and participants included Gladstone Best and Cheryl Weekes of the Barbados Community College, Krystal Boyea (Diabetes Advocate), Sanka Price (local media) and members of Project HOPE, Colleen McLarnon and Faye Piles, who provided the tour.

Project HOPE helped to launch a programme aimed at training allied health professions at the Barbados Community College in 1975. Medtronic is a partner of Project HOPE which facilitates a medical mission throughout Central America and the Caribbean delivering care at selected ports over the course of 10 day stops. During this tour, the 1000+ crew have been to Belize, Jamaica and Dominica. In Dominica they provided care for 11,000 (Yes 11,000!!) Dominicans.  Colleen and Faye gave the group a tour of the ship with state of the art medical facilities. The HCC was honoured to see USNS Comfort and would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Gayle for making this possible (Medtronic is also a longstanding partner of HCC). For more information on Project HOPE click here
Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre Raffle
Top prizes included:
  • Travel vouchers $10,000, $5,000, $2,000, $1,000 Worldview Travel 
  • Cygnus Z 125CC 4 Stroke Motorcycle, World Distributors Ltd
  • 2 Night Stay incl. Continental Breakfast, Fairmont Southampton
  • iPad Mini 2 128GB WIFI + Cell, iClick
  • Dinner for two, Bolero Brasserie 
  • and so much more, over 20 fabulous prizes

New Statistics on NCDs

Barbados Health of the Nation
Approximately one in five adults aged 25 and over in this country has diabetes; one in three has hypertension; and one in two has raised cholesterol. These are the latest figures as it relates to the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in this country, contained in the report on the Health of the Nation Survey which has just been officially launched. Read more
Further press coverage: Boyce: Health risks getting worse - Minister of Health John Boyce said he was particularly concerned after the results of the Health Of The Nation Survey were made public. Read more
Systematic Review Author Training Workshop
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in collaboration with Cochrane Caribbean will conduct a Systematic Review Author Training Workshop on September 9th -11th, 2015 in Trinidad and Tobago. Read more

WHO Web-based Public Consultation

The interim report from the Working Group on how to realize governments’ commitments to engage with the private sector for the prevention and control of NCDs (Working Group 3.1) provides preliminary recommendations that emphasize the leadership role that governments must play in calling on the private sector to strengthen its contribution to NCD prevention and control. These recommendations apply to all five specific action areas included in paragraph 44 of the UN Political Declaration.

Member States, UN agencies, relevant NGOs and selected private sector entities are encouraged to submit their comments before Tuesday 15 September 2015 by sending an email to Read more
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Latest
HFC Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS has been strongly  linked to hypertension.

From Healthier Meals to First Aid...

Read more from the Heart & Stroke Foundation newsletter here

Revealed - the Shocking Amount of Sugar 'Hiding' in Your Soft Drink

Revealed - the Shocking Amount of Sugar 'Hiding' in Your Soft Drink
Photographer boils down household favourites then makes them into lollipops. Henry Hargreaves, from Brooklyn, used a variety of sweetened beverages, including Vitamin Water and Mountain Dew during his project.

To create the lollipops, he boiled each liquid on the stove top until the water was evaporated and the drinks were reduced to syrupy substances. Henry then poured the liquid into corresponding molds and added lollipop sticks to them. Read more

Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets

Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.

The beverage giant has teamed up with influential scientists who are advancing this message in medical journals, at conferences and through social media. To help the scientists get the word out, Coke has provided financial and logistical support to a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which promotes the argument that weight-conscious Americans are overly fixated on how much they eat and drink while not paying enough attention to exercise. Read more

More in the press on the same subject:
Coke Tries to Sugarcoat the Truth on Calories
Big Soda’s tactics to confuse science and protect their profits
Response from Coca-Cola: Setting the Record Straight on Coca-Cola and Scientific Research  
NCD Alliance e-Alert
  • Strengthening NCD Civil Society in the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Post-2015 Indicator Process
  • International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples and International Youth Day
Read more

From the NCD Alliance Weekly Digest

NCDs News
  • Lancet: Disparities in cancer mortality for elderly poor in the USA read more
  • Lancet: Demography still dictates destiny for children with disabilities read more
  • BioMed Central: The decline in mortality due to acute complications of diabetes mellitus in Brazil, 1991–2010 read more
  • BioMed Central: Time trends in municipal distribution patterns of cancer mortality in Spain read more
  • BMJ: Samir Dawlatly: There is no dementia wonder cure read more
  • BMJ: Manoj Kumar Pati: Road traffic injuries—an ignored public health issue in India read more
  • Guardian: UK: Cancer survival rates three times higher with early diagnosis read more
  • Times of India: 25% of Indians may die of lifestyle diseases before they are 70: Study read more
Risk Factor News
  • Devex: Should health organizations add a 'tobacco filter' to their recruitment policies? read more
  • Al Jazeera: The soda industry’s creepy youth campaign read more
  • PLoS: Big Food and Public Health Research read more
  • PLoS: The evolution of sedentary time read more
  • PLoS: What caused the childhood obesity epidemic? read more
  • NEJM: Differential Taxes for Differential Risks — Toward Reduced Harm from Nicotine-Yielding Products read more
  • Independent: Saturated fats in meat and dairy not as bad for health as previously thought, study finds (Trans-fats associated with CHD, however) read more
  • Telegraph: Seven Lifestyle Changes for Health recommended by UK Government read more
  • Healthline: Bariatric Surgery Patients See Weight Gain After ‘Honeymoon’ Period read more
  • Quartz: Air pollution causes nearly one in five deaths in China—and over 4,000 per day 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.
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 © 2015 Healthy Caribbean Coalition, All rights reserved.

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