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Healthy Caribbean Coalition

March 8th - March 16th 2019


Barbadians Looking for Government to Take Action on Childhood Obesity

HSFB-CADRES Poll Results
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc. commissioned, a first of its kind poll conducted by Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), which found that Barbadians are deeply concerned about Child Obesity.

The findings were revealed as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, launched the poll of public concerns about obesity and the measures required to combat it, at the Barbados Hilton hotel on Tuesday March 12th.
CADRES pollster Corey Sandiford
CADRES pollster Corey Sandiford
The public opinion poll garnered responses which suggest a sense of urgency and a desire to act, even if the actions proposed to drastically remove country and culture from some of the more familiar ways of eating and drinking.. According to the research, Barbadians seem eager to learn more about reducing obesity and healthy lifestyles. The Poll canvassing 816 persons, took place between November and December 2018 and covered all 30 constituencies of the electoral map of Barbados.

The key takeaways from the Poll are:
  1. Barbadians are very concerned about obesity (83%) and childhood obesity (88%).
  2. The majority of Barbadians (97%) felt that it was important for children to have access to healthy food and drinks at school and large a number 62% felt that the current food environment in schools was not healthy.
  3. Barbadians are showing strong support for policies that will create a healthier environment in the nations schools. They support restricting the sale of unhealthy foods and beverage (72%) as well as the marketing/advertising of these unhealthy foods and beverages (72%) within the schools.
  4. The majority of Barbadians (92%) support having National Policies/Guidelines to ensure a healthy school environment.
  5. A significant number of Barbadians (78%) felt that it was important that government take steps to reduce Obesity and the related Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
  6. There was also strong support for the introduction of Front of Package Warning Labels on food and beverages.
Read more
See more pictures for the poll launch here.
Related Media
Breaking the CADRES Poll story
CBC News: Breaking the CADRES Poll story (click/tap to play)
Barbados Today e-paper: Health Poll
Barbados Today

Bermuda Minister of Health Defends Sugar Tax

Bermuda Minister of Health, Kim Wilson
Bermuda Minister of Health, Kim Wilson  Photo Credit: The Royal Gazette
The Royal Gazette: The Minister of Health has defended the expansion of the sugar tax despite the objections of some businesses.

Kim Wilson told the House of Assembly that diseases such as diabetes are a threat to the island’s health and the public purse.

She added that the Government was aware the sugar tax alone would not reduce healthcare costs, but that it was a fundamental part of its “broader commitment” to tackle lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes.
Read more

81 per Cent of Jamaicans Support a Tax on Sugary Drinks

Drinking yourself sick
Jamaica Gleaner: The Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) recently launched a new phase of its ongoing obesity-prevention media campaign, calling for action to support the health of Jamaican children by way of supporting a sugary-drink tax, which can help reduce child and adult consumption of sugary drinks.

Entitled ‘Are We Drinking Ourselves Sick?’, this campaign tells the truths of real Jamaicans - a type 2 diabetic, a family physician, and a dental surgeon. Each testimonial tells the real-life story from a first-person perspective of the actual and possible health consequences of excess consumption of sugary drinks: type 2 diabetes, obesity and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and tooth decay, with an emphasis on children and young people.
Read more

Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) Facebook Live and Twitter Chat on the Sugar Tax

HFJ Facebook Live and Twitter Chat on the Sugar Tax
Dr. Kwesi Marshall, Chairman of the National Food Industry Task Force, participated recently on the HFJ's Facebook Live and Twitter chat, discussing the Sugary Drinks Tax and it's benefits.
Watch here

Christopher Tufton - Diluting Sugar

Jamaica Gleaner: Dr Christopher Tufton Minister of Health for Jamaica - The late writer, historian, and philosopher William Durant is credited with the saying, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Dr Christopher Tufton Minister of Health for Jamaica
I preface this article with this quote since it is excellence that we are after in public health in Jamaica. To achieve excellence in public health, sometimes tough or otherwise uncomfortable policy decisions have to be made - tough and uncomfortable for those who may consider that they are being penalised, albeit for the greater public good.
I note the recent news headlines on sugar - a fuel that fires obesity, a known modifiable risk factor for the scourge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) now plaguing Jamaica.
Read more

87% of Barbadians Will Die From Non-Communicable Diseases by 2030

87% of Barbadians Will Die From Non-Communicable Diseases by 2030
St Lucia News: Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth George is warning that by 2030 an estimated 87 per cent of Barbadians will die from non-communicable diseases (NCD) and that the authorities are devising a strategy to deal with the situation.

He told the Barbados National Registry’s 10th anniversary extravaganza that on average, 18 to 20, 000 people here are being treated at the nine polyclinics across the island for hypertension.
Read more
Related Media

Is Sugar the New Tobacco?

Is Sugar the New Tobacco?
Health Policy Watch: Tobacco industry giants built some of the leading sugary drink brands that have been marketed to children over the past 50 years, reveals a major study published in The BMJ.

The study, which analyses archives of industry correspondence recently opened to the public as part of a landmark US court settlement, focuses on how the two largest US-based tobacco industry conglomerates, Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds, began acquiring soft drink brands in the 1960s, and used know-how gained from tobacco to develop some of the leading sugary drink brands marketed to kids, including Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, Capri Sun and Tang.
Read more

7 Issues Gaining Momentum in Global Health

Students wear masks
Students wear masks as they wait to be picked up during air pollution school closures in Thailand
Photo: REUTERS / Athit Perawongmetha 
Devex: Noncommunicable diseases - such as cancer, diabetes, lung, and liver disease - account for a staggering 7 out of 10 deaths worldwide. Confronting the leading risk factors that contribute to the majority of these diseases is a global challenge, but it is the key to preventing their unnecessary toll of death and disability worldwide - and ensuring that countries are on the right path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

As global attention to public health issues continues to gain momentum in 2019, here are seven issues and trends that will be critical to shaping the conversation on NCDs:
Read more

Community on Women and NCDs Webinar

The Community on Women and NCDs was launched with its first webinar on 5 March (click/tap to play)
In collaboration with WHO’s Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs, The George Institute for Global Health is facilitating a new online Community on Women and NCDs, which is hosted on WHO’s Knowledge Action Platform. HCC Executive Director, Maisha Hutton has been invited to participate as a Steering Group member.

This Community will focus on how we can reduce premature mortality from NCDs among women by one third by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goal target 3.4. It will help to define best practices in implementing a life-course approach to women’s health and NCDs, by facilitating knowledge exchange and dissemination among key stakeholders from sectors both within and outside the health sector.
The Community on Women and NCDs was launched with its first webinar on 5 March, which set out the rationale for focusing on women and NCDs and using a gender lens to look at the range of determinants of NCDs, from the epidemiological to the social and economic, considering how NCDs impact women specifically.

The HCC is keen to use this platform to highlight challenges and successes in addressing the issue of women and NCDs in the Caribbean. We are therefore asking our members and stakeholders to reach out to the HCC at with any specific examples of initiatives and research in the region which address this topic.

CARPHA Meets with Regional Stakeholders to Discuss Post Market Surveillance for Medicines 

CARPHA Meets with Regional Stakeholders
(left to right) Ms. Nicole Ennis, Quality Manager CARPHA-MQCSD, Dr. Virginia Asin-Oostburg, Director Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control CARPHA, Dr. the Honourable Minister Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health Jamaica, Dr. Rudolph Cummings; Programme Manager, Health Sector Development, CARICOM; Mrs. Jessie Schutt-Aine, Subregional Program Coordinator, Caribbean, PAHO/WHO;  Mrs. Sonia Thomas-Gordon, Acting Head, CARPHA-MQCSD Photo: CARPHA
CARPHA: It is the right of all Caribbean people to have access to healthcare services, including essential quality medicines and pharmaceutical products they can trust.  Poor quality and falsified medicines if left unchecked, can reverse progress the Region has made in its fight against diseases.  
“We live in a world where medicines are being developed and consumed at an increasingly higher rate; and there are increased findings of substandard and falsified medicines reported to global monitoring systems. We cannot have that proliferated in the Caribbean. Manufacturers are seizing the opportunity to import and flood markets in countries where medicines are of short supply or where the regulatory systems for medicines are weak.  Thanks to CARPHA Medicines Quality Control and Surveillance Department (MQCSD) and its efforts to implement a “proactive, risk-based, planned sampling programme” for the post market surveillance of medicines, we are in a position to guard against this,” stated Dr the Honourable Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health, Jamaica. 
Read more

Lancet Articles

Inline with the HCC HLM priority of health systems strengthening for post disaster settings e.g. hurricanes 
The Lancet
Challenges associated with providing diabetes care in humanitarian settings: The humanitarian health landscape is gradually changing, partly as a result of the shift in global epidemiological trends and the rise of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes. Read more

The burden of diabetes and use of diabetes care in humanitarian crises in low-income and middle-income countries: Human suffering as a result of natural disasters or conflict includes death and disability from non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, which have largely been neglected in humanitarian crises. Read more

Coca-Cola Admits It Produces 3 Million Tonnes of Plastic Packaging a Year

Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images
Coca-Cola has revealed for the first time it produces 3m tonnes of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute – as a report calls on other global companies to end the secrecy over their plastic footprint.

The data from the soft drinks manufacturer was provided to the campaigner Ellen MacArthur, who is pushing for major companies and governments to do more to tackle plastic pollution.
Read more

PAHO Alcohol and Health Webinar Series 2019

PAHO Alcohol and Health Webinar Series 2019
Credit: PAHO
PAHO: The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Unit is coordinating a series of monthly webinars on Alcohol and Health throughout 2019. The webinar series is aimed at disseminating up-to-date and accurate information about alcohol epidemiology, harms, policies and research in the Region of the Americas and globally, which in turn can be used for advocacy, policy development and implementation. 

Register to the series to receive the invitations and the recordings and presentations of the webinars. Register at: 
Read more

ECHORN/Yale TCC Webinar: Developmental Origins of Non-Communicable Diseases: Can Early Life Interventions Change the Story?

Wednesday, March 27 @ 2:00pm AST/EST.
Part of a free webinar series on nutrition and non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean, brought to you by the ECHORN/Yale TCC Collaborative Learning Work Group.

Dr. Campos Rivera is a double-board certified pediatrician with sub-specialties in neonatal and perinatal medicine and a Robert Wood Johnson Interdisciplinary Research Leader. She will talk about her most recent work, a clinical trial targeting obesity prevention in infants and their mothers, and the paradigm of the effects of fetal programming on adipose-tissue related illnesses. 
Please share with your network and interested individuals. Certificates of attendance available upon request.
Any questions please email:

The American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine Data Grant Portfolio

Closing Date for Applications 30th July 2019
AHA Grants
Grants are open to applicants outside the U.S., Training Grant applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, Clinical Training Grants are for recent medical school graduates. Fields of study using bioinformatics, code development, and scientific community development are welcome.
Read more

Please Help to Monitor the Health of Caribbean Schools

My Healthy Caribbean School (MHCS) is an initiative of the HCC which provides students, teachers and parents with the opportunity to monitor the school environment with a focus on nutrition and physical activity.
Find out more
Key Messages From Our Publications
Key Messages from the Third Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day
Sobering Myths & Misconceptions
Youth and Alcohol Don't Mix
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The NCD Alliance


In this edition:
  • Survey on NCDs and UHC - Share your priorities 
  • Blog: Everyone's right to kidney health
  • RSVP by 13 March to attend NCDA side-event at #CSW63
  • Seven NCDs issues and trends that will be critical in 2019
  • WHO launches reform focused on triple billion targets
  • Nominations open for UN Taskforce on NCDs awards
  • Integrate oral health into the broader health agenda
  • FDI is recruiting a Campaigns and Project Manager
  • Engagement Manager sought to oversee events for EAT
Read more
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard
Forthcoming Events


Cancer Support Services Inaugural Colon Cancer Awareness Session

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Cancer Support Services Fundraising Breakfast

CSS Fundraising Worship Breakfast
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Barbados National Registry Celebrates 10th Anniversary

April 5th, 2019, the BNR, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be hosting a 10th Anniversary CME Seminar and Public Lecture at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Read more

Cancer Support Services 23rd Anniversary Concert

23rd Anniversary Concert
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CARPHA Health Research Conference - Primary Health Care : Current and Future Models for the Caribbean

CARPHA Conference
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Our Publications
Caribbean Fruit and Vegetable  Infographics
Caribbean Fruit and Vegetable

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An Insight into Depression in the Caribbean
An Insight into Depression in the Caribbean Infographic 

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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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