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October 3rd


Caribbean Youth Day

Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Young People During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Pierre Cooke, HCCs Youth Technical Advisor’s Discussion With Dr. Tedros, Director General of the WHO

Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Young People During the COVID-19 Pandemic
On October 2nd, fittingly two days after the Caribbean Region celebrated its annual Caribbean Youth Day, Pierre Cooke Jr, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition’s Youth Technical Advisor participated in the NCD Child webinar, “Promoting the health and wellbeing of young people during the COVID-19 pandemic”. This webinar was monumental as Pierre, alongside youth advocates and youth allies from across the globe discussed their major concerns with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, who provided thoughtful feedback.
The panelists aimed to address challenges faced by youth during COVID-19, specifically discussing these challenges from a health systems perspective, the need to facilitate and invest youth participation and structures that promote youth engagement.
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Uniting for One Vision - A Multisectoral Approach for Youth Empowerment, Engagement and Support 

Uniting for One Vision
On September 30th, the Caribbean celebrated Caribbean Youth Day, under the theme “One Vision”. The Barbados Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment held a National Stakeholders Consultation. This created a space for 140 youth and youth-allies from different sectors to provide insight into key areas that should be addressed to better support and meaningfully engage the youth of Barbados. The Healthy Caribbean Coalition’s Advocacy Officer, Danielle Walywn and youth advocates from the Barbados Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, Abigail Johnson and Rondell Trim participated. 

There was representation from different sectors of society including those involved in crime, culture, sport, youth organisations, religion and health among others. Each sector gathered and presented an overview of their own strengths and weaknesses and identifying the support needed from the government. In considering the way forward, sectors were reminded to embrace a multisectoral approach, fostering synergies to allow for meaningful engagement of youth and sustainable change.
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Youth MPs Debate Mental Health and Youth Rehabilitation

Youth MPs Debate Mental Health and Youth Rehabilitation
Photo: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer: MPs in the National Youth Parliament Association of Antigua and Barbuda (NYPAAB) took a stand for proper mental health and youth rehabilitation in a mock debate held yesterday. The Youth Rehabilitation and Development Center Act 2020 was created by Youth MP for St. Paul, Jahmaal Frederick, as “an Act to establish a modern facility built in Antigua and Barbuda geared towards the moulding and rehabilitation of both young males and females within a safe and caring environment”.
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Report: Generation Unlimited: The Well-Being of Young People in Barbados

Report: Generation Unlimited: The Well-Being of Young People in Barbados
Government of Barbados/UNICEF: The study is an analysis of the characteristics and situation of adolescents and youth in Barbados, and was developed to:
  • Facilitate and enhance policymaking and, in particular the National Youth Policy;
  • Provide a baseline for monitoring changes in the situation of young people, including progress towards SDGs; and
  • Raise awareness about the issues that young people face.
The analysis was conducted using multiple datasets and information sources from government agencies and inter-governmental organisations and adds to the increasing body of evidence on the young people in Barbados. Topics covered include poverty, education, unemployment, sexual behaviour, violence and exploitation, and climate change among others.
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Caribbean Youth Day 2020 Related Media:
HCC Communication Consultant

The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) is looking for a communication consultant with campaign experience to support our food policy work.  

The Communication Consultant will help to develop integrated communication strategies aligned with campaign themes, with an emphasis on media relations, digital communications, stakeholder engagement and strategic advertising. This person will work closely with the HCC team, global and regional partners on campaign planning, message development, announcement strategy, social media campaigns, digital marketing and event strategy.

Ideally the successful candidate would be based in Barbados or Jamaica however candidates located outside of these countries, but within CARICOM, will be considered on a case by case basis.

To apply for this position, please email a cover letter and attach your resume/CV to:, by Monday October 5th, 2020. Read the full requirements of the role here.

IATF Joint Statement on Noncommunicable Diseases and COVID-19

IATF Joint Statement on Noncommunicable Diseases and COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of our societies: the way we live, work, study, and socialize. Its effect is being felt in health systems and economies in all countries of the Region of the Americas.

Uneven access to social protection, health services, essential medicines, healthy food, safe drinking water, proper sanitation, education, and technologies—combined with unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, mental disorders, and stigma—present many challenges to sustainable development, universal health coverage, and recovery from the pandemic.
HCC applauds and supports this timely joint statement from the InterAmerican Task Force on Noncommunicable Diseases.
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Front-of-Package Labeling as a Policy Tool for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases in the Americas

Front-of-Package Labeling
Image: PAHO
PAHO: High blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar levels (measured as fasting plasma glucose), and overweight/obesity are the top three risk factors for mortality in the Americas. Unhealthy eating is closely linked to these top three risk factors in the Americas, driven largely by excess intake of sugars, total fats, saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium.
Front-of-Package Labeling as a Policy Tool for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases in the Americas
The excess intake of these nutrients has been driven largely by the widespread availability, affordability, and promotion of processed and ultra-processed food products that are excessive in sugars, fats, and sodium. As such, an essential part of the solution requires the use of laws and regulations to reduce the demand for and offer of products that contain excessive amounts of critical nutrients. One of the key policy tools to regulate such products to prevent them from unbalancing diets is the use of front-of-package labeling (FOPL) to indicate to consumers which products contain excessive amounts of sugars, total fats, saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium.
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HCC's Work on Front of Packaging Nutrition Warning Labelling
HCC's Work on Front of Packaging Nutrition Warning Labelling
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If you would like to respond to, or comment on any of the articles featured in our weekly news roundup please email
HCC Archives
Click/tap to play this short snippet of delegates 'Singin' sweet songs, of melodies pure and true, saying... this is my message to you'
The Caribbean NCD Forum: Supporting national and regional advocacy in the Caribbean in the lead up to the 3rd UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2018, took take place in Kingston, Jamaica from 23rd-25th April 2018.

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Sir Trevor Hassell - Pandemic Calls for Stepped-Up Action

Sir Trevor Hassell
Sir Trevor Hassell, HCC President, pictured at the Caribbean NCD Forum in Jamaica, 2018
Photo: HCC/Oristocratz Studio
Barbados Today: Leading Barbados and Caribbean fighter against non-communicable diseases, Sir Trevor Hassell, last night said that the dangers Covid-19 poses to persons with NCDs mean the Heart and Stroke Foundation must protect at-risk Barbadians.

Noting that persons with heart disease are among NCD patients who are especially likely to suffer severe outcomes including massive organ damage if they contract Covid-19, the physician and cardiologist who led the Caribbean in battling such illnesses said it is the duty of the Foundation to step up to another level in protecting these people.

“We are in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic and an NCD heart disease epidemic, one in which persons with NCDs and heart diseases are not being treated optimally,” he said while delivering opening remarks at a Foundation-organised lecture observing its 35th anniversary and World Heart Day.
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Related media:

Reduce Your Risk To COVID-19: Combat Obesity

Deborah Chen, executive director at Heart Foundation of Jamaica
Mrs Deborah Chen, Executive Director at Heart Foundation of Jamaica
Photo: HCC
Jamaica Gleaner: Recent research has revealed that individuals with obesity have 48 per cent higher rates of death to COVID-19, and with more than half of Jamaicans (54 per cent) being overweight or obese, the push to combat obesity and improve nutrition has become more urgent than ever.

Evidence has shown that a key intervention is empowering consumers with clear front-of-pack labels that identify the unhealthiest foods. Global health organisation Vital Strategies and global partners released the Guide to Introducing Effective Front-of-Package Nutrient Labels to assist countries in taking up this cost-effective, high-impact strategy to combat obesity.

“We welcome this guidebook, as a well-planned front-of-package nutrient label policy could have dramatic impact in Jamaica,” said Deborah Chen, executive director at Heart Foundation of Jamaica. “Such a policy would complement existing obesity-prevention initiatives and help to reduce the burden non-communicable diseases have on our health system. I encourage the Government to consider adopting and enforcing an effective front-of-package labelling system that will enable Jamaicans to make healthier choices.”
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The Bahamas Launches of COVID-19 and Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) Campaign

The Healthy Bahamas Coalition
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization (PAHO-WHO) Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands Country Office, the Bahamas’ Ministry of Health, the Public Hospitals Authority, the Bahamas Psychological Association, and The Healthy Bahamas Coalition launched a national multimedia campaign on COVID-19: Mental Health and Psycho Social Support (MHPSS).

This MHPSS Core Committees was established after Hurricane Dorian that ravaged islands within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The team is providing ongoing support to survivors, first responders, the media and citizens directly or indirectly impacted by the storm’s landfall. Months later, the work continued as the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in March 2020 in The Bahamas. As the levels of anxiety, stress, abuse and other challenges emerged from the public health protectionary measures, the team saw it fit to create animated public service announcements (PSAs) to encourage healthy lifestyle, positive coping measures, and to inform the general public of the mental health support services that are available.

MHPSS Hurricane Dorian free hotlines to help those affected by the pandemic. These lines, designated for English speakers and Haitian Creole speakers, are accessible via call, text or WhatsApp. Additionally, these resources were featured in a bilingual campaign by the International Organization of Migrants (IOM) Bahamas office.

The campaign continues to be aired via traditional and non-traditional means with the ongoing creation of new PSAs:

Questions and Answers on COVID-19 With Marcos Espinal and Anselm Hennis

Questions and Answers on COVID-19 With Marcos Espinal and Anselm Hennis
Image: PAHO
PAHO: On Friday October 2nd the PAHO Department of Communications held a social live Q&A titled “Ask the Expert” with Dr Marcos Espinal, PAHO Department of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health, and Dr Anselm Hennis, PAHO Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. Thesession focused on the first nine months of the pandemic, what we know and what remains to be known.
Watch the Recording
COVID-19 Comms Resources
HCC COVID-19 Webpage

The Ninth World Obesity Live Webinar, ‘COVID-19, Obesity & CVD’ 8th October at 13:00BST

The Ninth World Obesity Live Webinar, ‘COVID-19, Obesity & CVD’ 8th October at 13:00BST
Image: World Obesity Federation
The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of addressing non-communicable diseases as the association between the two has created a true health crisis. The urgency of the current pandemic has increased as we discovered how two of the most widespread diseases in the world – cardiovascular disease and obesity – are risk factors for COVID-19 and increase its severity.

Further to the success of our collaborative SCOPE School on obesity & CVD with the World Heart Federation, we are delighted to be able to further explore the links between the two diseases with COVID-19.
Register here
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We Must Take a One Health Approach to Improve Human Pandemic Infection Control

We Must Take a One Health Approach
The covid-19 pandemic must serve as a wake-up call

The BMJ Opinion: It is now clear that global and national preparedness and response to the covid-19 pandemic has been inadequate. Many of the basic principles which underpin public health and wellbeing have been transgressed whether through political hubris, narrowness of vision, or deficiencies in healthcare education.

With the exception of tropical medicine, human medicine in affluent societies in the last 50 years has given relatively little priority, for understandable reasons, to infectious disease. The emergence of HIV and the challenge of antimicrobial resistance have driven some reconsideration in recent years. Nevertheless, the focus in both training and practice has been dominated by the challenges presented by non-communicable diseases in individuals. By contrast, in veterinary medicine infectious diseases have always been of great significance and the accumulated experience of handling infections in populations of animals can contribute greatly to human pandemic infection control. 
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Webinar: Considerations in the Management CVD and Cancer in the Era of COVID-19

Considerations in the Management CVD and Cancer in the Era of COVID-19

Specialized Course on Food Security at the Time of COVID-19

(26 - 30 October 2020)
Specialized Course on Food Security at the Time of COVID-19
The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with John Cabot University (JCU), is organizing the second edition of the Specialized Course on Food and Nutrition Security at the time of COVID-19, which will be delivered online, from 26 to 30 October 2020.

The Specialized Course will provide participants with a fundamental understanding of main determinants and issues connected to food security, among which:
  • Towards the multidimensional definition of food security
  • The UN strategy for Goal 2 “Zero Hunger” (SDGs)
  • Legal tools on right to food, food safety and security
  • Pandemic outbreaks and impact on food safety and security 
  • COVID-19, conflicts, migration and food insecurity
  • Food industry and food fraud: counterfeiting and adulteration 
  • Migration and food insecurity
  • Innovation for the future: blockchain for Zero Hunger
Read more

Other News

New Research Is Evaluating the Cost of Childhood Obesity to Social and Economic Welfare.

New Research Is Evaluating the Cost of Childhood Obesity to Social and Economic Welfare.
World Obesity Federation: You might assume that childhood obesity is primarily a health issue. Research and policy papers on childhood obesity generally start by framing the importance of preventing children becoming obese in order to reduce their risk of suffering chronic disease.

But when it comes to making the policy case for preventing obesity to a government minister, it is not the health gains so much as the economic and social costs of obesity that get their attention.  
Read more
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard

Community Burden of Stroke Increasing as Cases Rise and Deaths Remain Unchanged

Community Burden of Stroke Increasing as Cases Rise and Death’s Remain Unchanged
Barbados National Registry (BNR): The fight to make NCDs a national priority is on-going, while at the community level the burden is increasing. The Barbados National Registry’s 2017 – 2018 Cardiovascular Disease Report indicates that between 2010 and 2018, the number of stroke cases increased by about 15%. Although, strokes cases are increasing, deaths due to stroke remain the unchanged. A reduction in the number of deaths, related to strokes, is an important indicator that our health care for this ailment is improving.

The increase in stroke cases is however concerning as the after effects of a stroke, can and will result in more Barbadians living with disabilities. In men, most stroke cases are occurring at relatively young ages (55-74 years). Many of the patients who were diagnosed with having suffered from a stroke, also suffer from at least one comorbidity, with the most common ones being; hypertension and/or diabetes. 

The increasing cases and associated comorbidities, highlight the need for us to emphasise primary prevention methods and risk factor reduction to decrease the disability from strokes in our community.  

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an additional dimension to this burden. Data provided from the World Health Organisation indicates that the period of in-country lockdowns resulted in a 20% reduction of cardiovascular services, in the Caribbean territories.
Data provided from the World Health Organisation
In the midst of the pandemic we must maintain a strong primary care service, while, emphasising the need for greater community involvement and self-care, for chronic diseases, as we aim to emerge from this crisis healthier and stronger.
Download the Report

Launch of 3rd Round of LINKS One-time Grants

Launch of 3rd Round of LINKS One-time Grants
Resolve to Save Lives has announced the launch of the 3rd round of LINKS one-time grants for applications on the following three areas, hypertension control, sodium reduction and trans fat elimination, as well as on projects on CVD and COVID-19 rapid response applications.
Grants aim to catalyse the creation of programmes to prevent CVD with a maximum amount of $200,000 USD for hypertension control programmes and $125,000 USD for nutrition programmes, and the deadline to apply is 15 November 2020.
Grants for CVD and COVID-19 rapid responses can range from $10,000-$50,000 USD, and the deadline to apply is 31 December 2020
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If you would like to respond to, or comment on any of the articles featured in our weekly news roundup please email

NCD Alliance Newsletter

NCD Alliance
  • Today is World Heart Day: #UseHeart to beat CVD!
  • Ghana NCD Alliance wins UNIATF award on NCDs
  • Event: Mobilising NCD investment to build back better
  • Survey: How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting you? 
  • The health and wellbeing of young people during COVID-19
  • Watch The George Institute's COVID-19 panel discussion
  • Conceptualising adolescent well-being 
Read more

Key Messages From Our Publications

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Our Work

Front of Package Nutrition Warning Labels

Front of Package Labelling
Front of Package Nutrition Warning Labels help you make healthier choices.

Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than tobacco use, alcohol use and unsafe sex combined. The Caribbean has some of the highest levels of obesity and obesity related non communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes in the world. 
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Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean

Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean
Social media graphics to campaign for the implementation of our Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies
Our 'Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean' infographics are now available as a package, the package includes the full size infographic, a web-booklet version, a full colour printable version, reduced colour version for in house printing and three social media visuals which are shown below.
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Childhood Obesity Prevention Visuals

A set of infographics, highlighting childhood obesity, the risks and the HCC policy asks.
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Childhood Obesity Prevention
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Our Publications
Rapid Assessment of the School Nutrition Policy Environment: In Select Caribbean Countries
Rapid Assessment of the School Nutrition Policy Environment: In Select Caribbean Countries
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Accelerating Nutrition Policies in the Caribbean - Meeting Report
Accelerating Nutrition Policies in the Caribbean - Meeting Report
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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 work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
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