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December 1st - December 11th 2018


Youth Reflections on Beyond the Call to Action, Childhood Obesity Prevention Meeting

Youth Reflections on Beyond the Call to Action, Childhood Obesity Prevention Meeting
Pierre Cooke Jnr.
(Photo: Studio Studio, Carl Blenman)
Beyond the Call to Action Event: Towards School Policies in Support of Childhood Obesity Prevention, took place on Tuesday November 20th, 2018, United Nations Universal Children’s Day, at the Hilton Hotel, Barbados. The following was written by Pierre Cooke Jnr. who took part in the meeting and specifically in the parallel Youth Session.

Over the last few months I have been doing a lot of research on the topic of Childhood Obesity and Non-Communicable diseases. This came after I attended the first meeting of the Barbados Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition in July. I left with many questions that I needed answers to ‘What’s the best way to go about childhood obesity?’, ‘Who should lead the charge?’, ‘What are some strategies that worked?’, and ‘What can I do?’ You can imagine my excitement when I was invited to a session on Tuesday November 20th, which focused on the creation of policies in support of Childhood Obesity Prevention.
Participants at the recent Beyond the Call to Action Event parallel youth session
Participants at the recent Beyond the Call to Action Event parallel youth session
(Photo: Studio Studio, Carl Blenman)
I was heartened to see persons of my age group involved in the conversation. Clearly, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition and Heart and Stroke Foundation recognize the indispensable value of us youth within the Non-communicable disease space, in harnessing, guiding and incubating behavior change with ideas driven by us, aimed at preventing NCD’S in a way our peers would understand.

From the outset, it seemed to be a promising event and my expectations were fulfilled with each new presentation that came to fore. I learned a lot about sustainable NCD prevention, management and treatment.
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Childhood Obesity Prevention Call to Action Ends

Too Much Junk

The Childhood Obesity Prevention Call to Action is now closed, thank you all for your support. We collected more than 26,000 supporting signatures.

You can see more about the Call to Action at the link below.

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Call to Action PSA


3rd Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD) 2018

Third Alcohol Annual Reduction Day 2018
On Thursday November 29th the HCC with the support of partners PAHO, CARPHA, CARICOM Secretariat and the UWI Open Campus, hosted the 3rd Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD).
CARD 2018 Webinar Recording
3rd Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day: Youth: Let's Talk About Alcohol, webinar recording


  • Youth drinking in the Americas: where we are and what can we do?
    Dr. Maristela MonteiroSenior Advisor Alcohol and Substance Abuse, PAHO
  • Youth and Alcohol Advertising - A brief review
    Dr. Rohan MaharajHCC Alcohol Policy Advisor; Senior Lecturer, UWI
  • Let’s Talk About Alcohol - Perspectives from Young People
    Krystal BoyeaNCD Youth Advocate
The presentations and more information about CARD 2018 can be found at the link below.
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Sugary Drink Ban Will Hit School-Gate Vendors, Too

Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton MP
Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton MP, Minister of Health of Jamaica
(Photo: Oristocratz Studio, taken at HCC NCD Forum, Jamaica, April 2018)
The Government's ban on the sale of overly sweetened beverages will also apply to vendors operating on the perimeter of early childhood, primary-, and high-school compounds, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has said.

The war on sugar is being waged in light of grave concern over high rates of lifestyle diseases and disorders, particularly obesity, among preteens and adolescents.

"All the concessionaires on the campus, and also the vendors on the outskirts of the gates," will have to comply with the new stipulation, which takes effect in the new year, said the minister.
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In June of this year HCC published the following open letter to Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton MP, Minister of Health of Jamaica

June 15, 2018
Dear Dr. The Honourable Christopher Tufton,
The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) wishes to congratulate the Ministry of Health, Jamaica and the Government of Jamaica on your June 5th, 2018 Parliamentary announcement of a restriction on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) (beverages that contain sugar or syrup that is added by the manufacturer excluding 100 per cent juice or unsweetened milk), in Jamaican schools and public health facilities effective January 2019.  This action taken by the Government of Jamaica supports the HCC Civil Society Action Plan 2017-2021: Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean and the HCC Call to Action, both of, which call on the Governments of CARICOM countries to implement a package of evidence based policy actions aimed at tackling childhood obesity.
The HCC strongly supports this policy measure, which is part of a wider strategy to combat the urgent epidemic of childhood overweight and obesity we are facing in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. We look forward to seeing the details of the policy in the coming months. This will be useful for other regional governments keen to follow the leadership of Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, and now Jamaica - in taking population-level policy measures to create healthier school environments.
The restriction on sugary drinks in schools aligns with actions endorsed by the World Health Organisation Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity: Implementation Plan which calls for the elimination of the provision or sale of unhealthy foods, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, in the school environment. The Caribbean has the highest NCD mortality rate in the Americas and 40% of these deaths occur prematurely before the age of 70 years. Obesity is a major underlying factor which contributes to the development of NCDs, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One in three Caribbean children are either overweight or obese placing them on trajectory for health complications in childhood and adolescence and increased risk of NCDs in adulthood. The implementation of policies that support obesity prevention and reduction efforts are key to making the environments in which our populations live, work and grow less obesogenic. The ban on SSBs in public health infrastructures, which is set to coincide with the SSB ban in schools, shows a commitment by the Jamaican Government to creating environments that promote healthier diets. Such policy measures, when implemented effectively, create strong regulatory environments which help drive product reformulation and encourage manufacturers and retailers to increase the availability of affordable, healthier food and beverage options. Every Caribbean country is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) thereby underscoring the important role of governments to ensure that those most vulnerable in the population - our children - are protected from continuous exposure to harmful environments that promote consumption of products high in salt, sugar and trans fats.
Against the background of the recently launched WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030, the HCC also wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government of Jamaica on the Jamaica Moves Initiative, which aims to educate, encourage and empower Jamaicans to eat healthily and increase their levels of physical activity.
The HCC applauds the leadership of the Government of Jamaica in its actions taken to combat NCDs and welcomes continued bold n in this area through further implementation of the WHO NCD Best Buys and looks forward to your presence at the highest levels at the upcoming 3rd UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in New York on September 27th, 2018.
- The Board of Directors, staff and volunteers of the HCC, Technical Advisors and the 100+ HCC Members

T&T Health Ministry Launches Awareness Campaign on Lifestyle Diseases at Launch of TT Moves

T&T Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh
T&T Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh
(Photo: Anil Rampersad)
In an attempt to move citizens away from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthier one, Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the ministry is working on another step to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

Addressing the media yesterday at the launch of TT Moves, an awareness campaign addressing NCDs, at the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, Deyalsingh said those who suffer from NCDs end up in hospitals, clogging the accident and emergency departments.

He said yesterday’s event is a continuation of a plan the ministry launched earlier this year to get this country to move from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthier one.

“When I say a healthier lifestyle, I mean how we eat, how we exercise, controlling our stress levels, moving away from this, as social-media electronic toys which shackle us to a device and we sit down."
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T&T Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh at the launch of TT Moves
T&T Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh at the launch of TT Moves

Ambassadors Trained for the Jamaica Moves in Schools Programme

Jamaica Moves Ambassadors
Students, teachers and staff from the Southern Regional Health Authority who participated in the training of ambassadors for the Jamaica Moves in Schools programme. (photo: Jamaica Observer)
The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) says it recently trained 58 high school students and 15 teachers as ambassadors for the Jamaica Moves in Schools programme. A news release said students, teachers and facilitators from 15 high schools in Manchester, St Elizabeth and Clarendon participated in a residential camp at the Ocean View Bible Camp in St Elizabeth.

The camp placed emphasis on nutrition and physical activity and routine health checks. The Jamaica Moves in Schools programme is a partnership between the Ministries of Health and Education, through the Jamaica Moves initiative. It aims to increase the number of students engaging in moderate level of physical activity by five per cent.
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High Blood Pressure and Cancer Medicines on CARPHA Caribbean Regulatory System Recommendation List

CARPHA Caribbean Regulatory System Recommendation
The Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) recently recommended its first non-communicable disease (NCD) medicines, including amlodipine for high blood pressure and anastrozole for breast cancer. The Caribbean is the worst affected sub-region in the Americas for NCDs, which are a leading cause of premature mortality, making up about half of all deaths of people under 70.

The recommended medicines are some of the most important tools that health providers and patients have to correct dangerous conditions like high blood pressure and cancer. For example, amlodipine is recognized as a critically effective blood pressure lowering medicine and is one of the most highly purchased products in the sub-region. Anastrozole is a key treatment in breast cancer and is listed on the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of essential medicines.

Commenting on the development Dr. Virginia Asin-Oostburg, Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at CARPHA who manages the CRS programme said, "This marks an important new milestone for assuring quality NCD medicines in the region, where we know regulatory capacity can be limited due to small populations and few human resources.“  She further noted that each medicine has to be pre-approved by a strong regulatory authority like the United States Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, and be suitable for the Region, before it can be recommended by the CRS to CARICOM member states.
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Health Benefits Far Outweigh the Costs of Meeting Climate Change Goals

Health Benefits Far Outweigh the Costs of Meeting Climate Change Goals
Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone. The latest estimates from leading experts also indicate that the value of health gains from climate action would be approximately double the cost of mitigation policies at global level, and the benefit-to-cost ratio is even higher in countries such as China and India.

A WHO report launched today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland highlights why health considerations are critical to the advancement of climate action and outlines key recommendations for policy makers.
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UK Sugar Tax Revenue Helps Tackle Childhood Obesity

Sugar Tax UK
Soft drinks manufacturers and traders have paid an extra £153.8 million in tax since April, statistics published by UK HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reveal.

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) was introduced in April 2018 and applies to the packaging and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar. It was introduced as part of the government’s initiative to tackle childhood obesity by encouraging manufacturers to reduce the sugar content in their drinks products.

The UK has one of the highest obesity rates among developed countries and soft drinks are still the biggest source of sugar in children’s diets. Revenue collected from the levy will help fund physical education activities in primary schools, the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund and provide a funding boost for breakfast clubs in over 1,700 schools.
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NCD Alliance Webinar

The NCD Alliance is organising its final webinar of 2018 on Wednesday 12 December, from 09:00-10:30 (EST) // 15:00-16:30 (CET).
NCD Alliance Webinar
Please register here to receive the login/dial-in details.

The webinar will cover:
  • 2018 Milestones 
  • Our Views, Our Voices
  • Risk Factor Updates
  • WHO and UN Environment Updates: Air Quality and COP24
  • Look Forward to 2019 (including WHO Executive Board and UN HLM on UHC)
  • NCDA Membership

Intergenerational Burden and Risks of NCDs: Need to Promote Maternal and Child Health

The Lancet
The 2018 Political Declaration adopted at the third UN High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) states that investment and progress towards the NCD reduction target set out in Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 have been insufficient. Meanwhile, the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 showed no countries projected to meet the reduction in mortality from NCDs by 2030.
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The Barbados Association of Endometriosis and PCOS Book Launch 

The Barbados Association of Endometriosis and PCOS Book Launch 
The Barbados Association of Endometriosis and P.C.O.S. in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will be hosting the launch of its new publication titled: “Invisible Not Imaginary” on Monday 17th December 2018 from 10:30 to 11:30 AM at the UN House.

The aim of the book is to help educate Barbadians and as an extension, Caribbean citizens about menstrual health and common menstrual health disorders.
The NCD Alliance


  • Founding members combine individual expertise to form strong Mozambique alliance
  • Tackling NCDs in workplace settings in LMICs - webinar
  • NCDA and Pfizer to promote the role of health workers
  • Join us on 12 Dec. to review 2018 and look ahead to 2019
  • People first. The voices for Universal Health Coverage
  • Kenya NCDA promotes voices of people living with NCDs
  • Healthy Caribbean Community talks to youth about alcohol
Read more

Commonwealth Foundation’s Annual Grants

Commonwealth Foundation’s Annual Grants
The Commonwealth Foundation’s annual grants call will be launched on 1 November 2018.

The Foundation’s mission is to support civic voices to share their stories, learn and act together and influence the institutions that shape people’s lives.
They are interested in supporting projects that strengthen civic voice so that it:
  • Is more effective in holding governance institutions to account
  • Enhances involvement in policy processes
  • Shapes public discourse
Applicants must be registered not for profit civil society organisations, have an annual income of less than £3 million, and be applying for a maximum of £50,000 per annum over no more than four years. The deadline for preliminary applications is on 7 January 2019 at 5pm GMT.

Guidelines for applicants and a list of eligible countries is available on our website at the following link:
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Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard
Key Messages From Our Publications
Key Messages from the Third Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day
Key Messages from the Third Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day
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HCC Publications

Fruit and Veg Infographics
Read more
HCC 10 Year Anniversary Report
HCC 10 Year Anniversary Report
Celebrating 10 Years of a Civil Society Regional Response to the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in the Caribbean
Read more
Caribbean NCD Forum Report 
Caribbean NCD Forum Report 
A comprehensive and detailed account
of all three days of this special
event which took place in
April 2018 in Jamaica
Read more
See All HCC Publications
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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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The HCC promote the work of civil society throughout the Caribbean in a variety of ways including sharing of their materials, this is not an endorsement of their materials or messages. The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only, we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct but any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. Through this newsletter you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of the HCC. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.
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