The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

January 20th - January 26th 2017


World Cancer Day 4th February 2017

World Cancer Day 2017
World Cancer Day is next week Saturday Feb 4th. HCC is seeking to launch a patient led Caribbean Cancer Advocacy Agenda in celebration of World Cancer Day.

We want your feedback on the draft agenda, especially those with direct and indirect experiences with cancer.

Please have a look at the draft (here) and feedback in writing to us at the by Wednesday February 1st 2017. 
World Cancer Day 2017

T&T Ministry to Ban Sugar Drinks at Schools

T&T Ministry to Ban Sugar Drinks at Schools
The Ministry of Health is banning the sale of sugar sweetened drinks at all Government and Government-assisted schools from April 2017. The move comes amid alarming statistics which point to a childhood obesity epidemic in Trinidad and Tobago.

The sweetened drinks to be banned include soft drinks, juice drinks, flavoured water, sports/energy drinks, tea and coffee and milk-based drinks with added sugars and artificial sweeteners. The ministry said, from April, only water, 100 per cent sweet juices, low-fat milk and blended vegetable or fruit drinks can be sold at schools. Read more

Ban on soft drinks at Government schools (T&T Guardian)

Civil Society Led Tobacco Control  Advocacy in the Caribbean

Tobacco Control  Advocacy in the  Caribbean
A message from Barbara McGaw, Tobacco Control Programme Advisor, The Heart Foundation of Jamaica/Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control and Tobacco Control Advisor Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Watch here
The Report 'Civil Society Led Tobacco Control Advocacy in the Caribbean - The experiences of the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC)'. is available here.

This report documents best practices of the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC) and other Caribbean CSOs in the implementation of tobacco control measures within the region. The report explores examples of effective advocacy strategies that have withstood the constant pressure of the tobacco industry and have created stepping stones for action in countries where there is a lack of political will. Successes recorded here are in countries where governments displayed strong political will for tobacco control and which collaborated with key stakeholders, including CSOs, to achieve FCTC objectives. Read more

The JCTC and the HCC Congratulate the Government of Barbados for the Timely Decision to Ban e-Cigarette Use in Public Spaces 

Barbados Moves To Ban E-Cigarettes In Public
Studies about e-cigarettes and smoking behaviour show conflicting results. E-cigarettes were mildly helpful in kicking the habit in one clinical trial. In other studies, e-cigarette use did not increase quit rates, or was even associated with a higher risk of continuing to smoke. The bottom line is that they are harmful and the use of e-cigarettes among youth is growing in the Caribbean.
Jamaica’s Public Health Tobacco Control Regulations also ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places.  Because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, the Government of Jamaica moved to regulate e-cigarettes under Food and Drug Act, which means a permit has to be sought to import e-cigarettes
The Suriname Government has gone even further by banning the importation and sale of e-cigarettes.
Meidia coverage:

Jamaica Minister of Health Considering WHO Call for Higher Taxes on Tobacco

The Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC) commends the Minister of Health’s recent announcement that Jamaica will evaluate the World Health Organisation’s call for heavy taxation of the tobacco industry in Jamaica. Minister Tufton stated that “the decision on tax increase on tobacco and its products would be a decision of the Government”.

Jamaica is a party to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The Convention aims to reduce continually and substantially the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. To achieve this goal, the Convention includes measures which parties have committed to employ to reduce both the demand and supply of tobacco products. One of the key provisions entails the use of price and tax measures (Article 6) to reduce the demand for tobacco (in particular young persons). Read the full JCTC Statement here.

More coverage in the media:

Let’s Protect the Sugary Drinks Tax in Barbados.

Dr Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean
It is critically important that “we all work together to protect the tax on carbonated beverages” in Barbados, says a top regional official of the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation.

Dr Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados, told a packed public lecture held at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus that research institutions such as the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC), civil society organisations and PAHO/WHO itself need to be vocal in support of the 10% excise tax implemented in September 2015 by the Ministry of Finance in Barbados. It was also necessary to challenge attempts by the drinks industry to lobby the government to scrap the tax; a move which has been resisted. Read more and download the presentations here.

Heart Foundation of Jamaica to Screen for Sudden Cardiac Arrest Risks

Deborah Chen
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) will be conducting screenings for risk factors associated with Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) during Heart Month in February.

HFJ’s Executive Director, Deborah Chen, said it is important for persons to know if they have any of the underlying conditions that may lead to SCA.  “We are all at risk; we need to know our numbers and our status on things like blood pressure and cholesterol. We might be a walking time bomb and we don’t know it. People who appear healthy can be at risk,” she pointed out, while addressing a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday. Read more

NCDs Could be a Contributing Factor

NCDs Could be a Contributing Factor
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continue to rank as one of the major health issues affecting the local population and this could be one of the main reasons why persons are taking so many sick days in Barbados.
Dr. Akhentoolove Corbin, Chairman of the Productivity Council, made this point as he spoke to the media after a church service to mark the official start of the Year of Productivity 2017 under the theme, ‘Get Up: Getting Everyone to Understand Productivity’ yesterday at the St. George Parish Church. Read more

Free Soda: France Bans Unlimited Sugary Drink Refills

Free Soda: France Bans Unlimited Sugary Drink Refills
Restaurants and other spaces catering to the public in France have been banned from offering unlimited sugary drinks in an effort to reduce obesity. It is now illegal to sell unlimited soft drinks at a fixed price or offer them unlimited for free.The number of overweight or obese people in France is below the EU average but is on the rise. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taxing sugary drinks, linking them to obesity and diabetes. Read more

Wellness Workshop for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Wellness Workshop
Cancer patients and survivors' ongoing health is incredibly important. It can be challenging to keep mentally and physically healthy especially during ones cancer journey. 

Nina London, a Certified Wellness and Weight Management Coach, is hosting a wellness workshop for cancer patients and survivors. 

When: Thursday, Feb 9, 2017, Time: 6pm - 7:30pm at the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre.

More information click here.

5th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research: Integrating Cancer Research for Improved Global Health

5th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research
National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland In conjunction with the 8th Annual CUGH Conference. Co-Sponsored by NCI Center for Global Health and CUGH. Registration to open January 30, 2017. For more information, please contact

International Women in Wellness Conference 2017

Yes She Can
Register here.

Funding and Training Opportunities

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R01) Research Project Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R21) Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Apply to the NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention. Registration is now OPEN to all applicants and is required due to space limitations. The deadline for all applicants is February 15, 2017.

Implementation Science for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders in Low- and Middle-income Countries (U01) Research Project – Cooperative Agreements. Open date: March 7, 2017

Call for mental health research proposals. The deadline for applications will be 11 April 2017, 4.00pm BST (3.00pm UTC)
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados
Go Red...
For Women...

In  more than 50,000 Bajans Is NOT Sweet...

Silent Stroke – Locked In Syndrome

Read more here
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • WHO Executive Board Update
  • Support through Sport: 2017 #WorldCancerDay Campaign
  • Inequalities in access to health for Europeans with disabilities
  • Abstract call for Alcohol Policy Conference - October 2017
  • International Health Policy Conference 2017
Read more

NCD Alliance Digest

NCDs News

Risk Factors News

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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.
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