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Healthy Caribbean Coalition

August 5th, 2019


World Breastfeeding Week

Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding
World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding Week Website

A Statement on World Breastfeeding Week from the Breastfeeding & Child Nutrition Foundation of Barbados

Dr Alison Bernard
Dr Alison Bernard President of the The Breastfeeding & Child Nutrition Foundation
of Barbados (BNCF)
(Photo: courtesy Loop News)
The Breastfeeding & Child Nutrition Foundation (BCNF)
As we take up the action set by this year’s WBW theme, to “empower parents and enable breastfeeding” in Barbados, we should also remember the significant implications these actions will have on the health and development of our children, the health of our mothers and the impact on improving our country’s productivity and ultimately our economy.

While we celebrate this week with our counterparts in the rest of the Caribbean and the world, let us remember to extend these actions and all of our work to promote and advocate for breastfeeding friendly policies and programs, throughout the year. Let us do what we must, as individuals, communities and governments, to upscale our efforts to improve the cultural and normative environment of breastfeeding in Barbados and the region and improve the quality of the lives of our people.

Protect and Promote Breastfeeding
is one of HCC's Policy Asks

Protect and Promote Breastfeeding

PAHO Webinar: Protect Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Wednesday, 7 August, 2019, 12:00 pm, EDT
PAHO Webinar: Protect Breastfeeding in the Workplace
As part of the activities to mark World Breastfeeding Week 2019, on Wednesday, 7 August, PAHO will hold the webinar "Protect breastfeeding in the workplace".

The event is organized with the objective of discussing the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and children and presenting country experiences with maternity protection laws for both the formal and informal sectors. We hope this is a space for discussion in which we can renew our commitment, empower parents and enable breastfeeding through maternity protection laws and recommended breastfeeding practices.
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Belize Approves Cabinet Paper to Ban SSBs in and Around Schools Countrywide

Belize Approves Cabinet Paper to Ban SSBs in and Around Schools Countrywide
Obesity has increasingly become a critical health issue for not only adults, but also children worldwide and especially in the Caribbean. About two billion people worldwide are overweight and one-third of them are obese, with a range of physical and psychosocial health conditions such as Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Hypertension and respiratory problems to mention a few. Obesity is a public health crisis in Belize that severely impairs the health and quality of life of its people and adds considerably to national health-care budgets of the country.
Regionally, the issue of childhood obesity has been of significant importance, as statistical data highlights the critical health of our region showing that one in every three Caribbean children is overweight as outlined in the HCC’s Civil Society Action Plan. More shocking is that Belize’s data shows an estimated 68% or more of its population being considered overweight or obese. It is in this effort that the Belize Cancer Society in collaboration with the NCD Childhood Obesity Prevention Alliance (NCD-COPA) and all other public and social partners join together in congratulating our Country Leaders, for recognizing Childhood obesity as an immediate threat and health risk to the livelihood of our children.  We applaud our leaders for aggressively addressing this issue of growing concern in our country Belize via the approval and passing of a Cabinet paper to address national policies, regulation and legislation of SSBs in and around schools countrywide.

Immense appreciation and gratitude to Prime Minister of Belize, Honourable Dean Barrow, Deputy Prime Minister- Hon. Patrick Farber and his technical team and staff at the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, the entire MOH Technical Team and Staff, Minister of Foreign Affairs- Hon Wilfred Erlington, Attorney General- Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House of Representatives- Hon. Madame Speaker Laura Longsworth who led this advocacy initiative to agitate for a National Ban on SSBs in Belize. Special thanks to the members of the NCD-COPA, civil society, our Belizean children, and private, public sector who supported the initiative to increase advocacy strategies to agitate for a National policy and Band on Sugar sweetened beverages in and around schools countrywide in Belize.  Your efforts are truly commendable.

Contributed by the Belize Cancer Society.

Belize Parliamentary Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition

Laura Tucker-Longsworth
Honourable Laura Tucker-Longsworth, Speaker of the House of Representatives signing the Parliamentary Declaration to End Hunger and Malnutrition in Belize (Photo: @BelizeMOEYS)
Belize joins 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, ending hunger and achieving food security is Sustainable Development Goal #2, which countries including Belize have committed to achieve by 2030.

HCC board member, Honourable Laura Tucker-Longsworth, Speaker of the Belize House of Representatives was one of many Parliamentarians from both sides of the house to sign a Parliamentary Declaration to End Hunger and Malnutrition in Belize. Hunger is a serious threat to the well-being of a nation and in the past the problem has been addressed on a small-scale level in Belize. The problem is now being addressed at the highest level with the launch of the Belize Parliamentary Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition (BPAHM).

"For Belize it is the first time that Parliamentarians across the political divide agree to champion an important issue affecting our people. A value added benefit is having inter-ministerial collaboration under this umbrella to address nutrition and food security. So all dimensions and initiatives, can shared and support given to priority areas for parliamentarians to champion. For example, climate change, disasters and support for farmers can be highlighted and shared"  said Hon. Laura Tucker-Longsworth.
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CARICOM Secretary General Highlights NCDs as a Significant Threat to the Sustainability of Social Security Funding

CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (Photo: CARICOM)
At the recently convened 30th Meeting of the Heads of CARICOM Social Security Organisations in Georgetown, CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque noted that non communicable diseases are a major item on the Community’s agenda and pose a major threat to the sustainability of social security.

La Roque went further sharing: "The medical cost, the impact of labour productivity and other factors related to NCDs translate to about 3-5 percent of GDP in our Region. The prevalence of NCDs no doubt has had an effect on social security systems...".  For a full transcript of the speech click/tap on the button below. 
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NCDs Can Bankrupt a Country

Trinidad & Tobago Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh
Trinidad & Tobago Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh (Photo: T&T Newsday)
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have the potential to bankrupt a country. This was the worrying message delivered on Tuesday by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh during the launch of the TT Global Hearts Initiative at the Hilton Trinidad Hotel and Conference Centre, St Ann's.

"If we do not act now with vigour, with commitment, and with a robust response, NCDs have the potential to bankrupt a country because we will not be able to build enough hospitals and amputate enough legs and cauterize enough patients because of the burden of NCDs."
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Use of a Public Park for Physical Activity in the Caribbean: Evidence From a Mixed Methods Study in Jamaica

Main walkway from eastern entrance of Emancipation Park, Jamaica
Main walkway from eastern entrance of Emancipation Park, Jamaica
Dr. Colette Cunningham-Myrie: Public parks have been shown to be important resources for physical activity with associated psychological and social benefits. Within the Caribbean, many countries continue to face an epidemic of obesity and decreased physical activity levels across all age groups and moreso among females. In response, the Jamaican government has implemented a successful social awareness campaign, ‘Jamaica Moves’ as part of its strategic plan to increase the proportion of persons engaged in moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity.

UWI Mona researchers led by HCC member Dr. Colette Cunningham-Myrie have recently published findings on the use of a popular urban public park, Emancipation Park, for physical activity. The study, published in the BMC Public Health journal, revealed that the park was used mostly by females, in the evenings and by persons 18-64 years old.  Females had significantly lower mean energy expenditure (EE) than males. In-depth interviews revealed that safety, a central location within a business district, aesthetic appeal, a walking track and individual health benefits were key reasons for persons engaging in PA at the park.

The researchers suggest that policymakers in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, can use these findings to inform physical activity interventions geared at addressing high levels of obesity, particularly among females.  Next steps include increased advocacy for greater availability of well-designed and safe public parks as well as programmes targeting the promotion of increased physical activity energy expenditure levels among women.
Dr. Colette Cunningham-Myrie
Dr. Colette Cunningham-Myrie is a medical doctor and senior lecturer in public health and family medicine at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

Her current research interests include assessing neighbourhood effects on chronic diseases and their risk factors.

Email address:
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Barbados Type 1 Diabetes Registry Program

Barbados Type 1 Diabetes Registry Program
The Ian Woosnam Barbados Type 1 Diabetes Registry Program is IRB and MOH approved and aims to identify all persons with type 1 diabetes living in Barbados.

The purpose of this registry is to:
  1. Identify all patients and their needs.
  2. To standardize their care through patient and physician education.
  3. Establish through the program, partnerships with agencies through our "Showing we Care " program, discounted services and products
  4. Provision of a medical alert cards and bracelets
The website for registration is

A short presentation about the registry can be viewed here.

WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2019

Global Tobacco Epidemic 2019
Global Tobacco Epidemic 2019
Progress being made in fight against tobacco, but increased action needed to help people quit deadly products

Many governments are making progress in the fight against tobacco, with 5 billion people today living in countries that have introduced smoking bans, graphic warnings on packaging and other effective tobacco control measures - four times more people than a decade ago. But a new WHO report shows many countries are still not adequately implementing policies, including helping people quit tobacco, that can save lives from tobacco.
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Time to Align: Development Cooperation for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases

NCD Solutions
Financing sustainable development, especially for health, is important for dealing with the tremendous challenges faced by low income countries. Many cannot meet their populations’ basic needs from domestic public resources alone. Until recently, however, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have not been seen as part of the global development agenda, and external resources for their prevention and control have been negligible. A change in the disease profile from communicable diseases to NCDs in low and middle income countries resulted in the inclusion of NCDs in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Nonetheless, health systems in those countries are ill prepared to deal with the high epidemiological and economic costs of chronic conditions. These conditions have now been recognised in global political forums.
Read more
This is part of the BMJ's Solutions for non-communicable disease prevention and control collection.

The SickKids-Caribbean Initiative 2018-2019 Annual Progress Report

The SickKids-Caribbean Initiative 2018-2019 Annual Progress Report
The SickKids-Caribbean Initiative 2018-2019 Annual Progress Report captures the many important milestones collectively achieved over the past year and notes the work still to be done to achieve the collective goal of improving the capacity to diagnose and care for children living with paediatric cancer and blood disorders in the Caribbean.
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Get Ready for the 2nd Global Week for Action on NCDs!

2nd Global Week for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)
The NCD Alliance invites you to share your plans with the world for the 2nd Global Week for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) - taking place from 2-8 September 2019.

Taking place every year at the beginning of September under the campaign banner ENOUGH., the Global Week for Action on NCDs is a global call for action on commitments to improve health for all through NCD prevention and control. This year, we will harness the strengths of the NCD community and momentum toward the first United Nations High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) on 23 September, with a strong focus on ensuring healthy lives for all by integrating NCDs across all aspects of UHC.

Get involved, take action!
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HCC Eight UHC Advocacy Priorities - Social Media Graphics

HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #1
HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #2
HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #3
HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #4
In recognition of the HLM-UHC and the nexus between NCDs and UHC, HCC asked CARICOM Heads of Government and State to support HCC’s eight (8) UHC advocacy priorities as detailed in the First United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage – Technical Brief for CARICOM Countries: A Contribution from Civil Society for inclusion in the HLM-UHC outcome document. We have produced some social media graphics to support this campaign in the lead up to the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (HLM-UHC), on 23 September 2019. The graphics can be downloaded here.
HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #5
HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #6
HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #7
HCC’s UHC advocacy priorities #8
We have also created social media graphics to campaign for the implementation of our Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies. The graphics can be downloaded here.
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
We encourage you to use these graphics to help raise awareness of both campaigns.

ECHORN/Yale-TCC Webinar: Climate Change Impacts as Determinants of Health in an NCD-Burdened Caribbean

Climate Change Impacts as Determinants of Health in an NCD-Burdened Caribbean.
A webinar entitled 'Climate Change Impacts as Determinants of Health in an NCD-Burdened Caribbean' wil take place on Thursday, August 29th, 1pm - 2pm EST / AST. it will be presented by Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster, President Emirata of the University of the Virgin Islands and Yale-TCC Consortium Governing Board Co-Chair. See flyer here.
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard
NCD Alliance


In this edition:
  • Get ready for the 2nd Global Week for Action on NCDs!
  • Join NCDA on 24 July for a Twitter Chat on NCDs & UHC
  • Our Views, Our Voices - Living with Alzheimer's in India
  • New study on impact of Chile's food-labelling & advertising law
  • Latin America's war on obesity could be a model for US
  • WHO essential medicines and diagnostics lists updated
  • State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019
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

HCC Advocacy Priorities for the HLM-UHC 2019
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Forthcoming Events


The Barbados Cancer Society - Spinathon Against Cancer

Spinathon Against Cancer
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World Heart Day 2019

World Heart Day 2019 Is Now Officially Live!
Read more
Our Publications
First United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
First United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: Technical Brief for CARICOM Countries - A Contribution from Civil Society
Read more
CTA Beyond the Call to Action
CTA Beyond the Call to Action -  Towards School Policies in Support of Childhood Obesity Prevention
Read more
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