The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

February 25th - March 1st 2017


Putting NCDs on the agenda in workplaces - The Barbados National NCD Commission working with the Barbados Workers Union to develop a National Workplace Wellness Policy 

Professor Sir Trevor Hassell
Chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancers, stroke and their complications are the cause of eight out of every ten deaths in this country and account for more than 60 per cent of the Ministry of Health’s budget.

So says HCC President and Chairman of the National Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Commission, Professor Sir Trevor Hassell. He was speaking on Friday, during the opening ceremony of the launch of the Draft Physical Development Plan (2017) Community Meetings and Stakeholder Consultation Workshop, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, as he reflected on how physical development planning can help to combat some of the challenges posed by such diseases.

“These diseases are for the most part a result of unhealthy living, consisting of physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, abuse of alcohol and exposure to tobacco smoke, in a setting often triggered by the social determinants of where we live, work and play, and frequently and sometimes unwittingly, contributed to by policies and legislation in non-health ministries such as education, agriculture, trade, finance, industry and commerce, transport and urban development, that usually are not aligned with public health policies,” he said. Read more

Related Articles:

HCC Welcomes New Member - Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association (VIAA)

Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association (VIAA)
Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association (VIAA)
The genesis of building awareness and appreciation of Alzheimer’s in the British Virgin Islands began in 2013 and has grown to more than a movement since this time.  In 2015, Alzheimer’s awareness became part of the platform of the Rotary Club of Road Town and quickly extended to the other Rotary Clubs in the British Virgin Islands.  The Lions Club of Tortola also joined Rotary to build awareness extending off an MOU which was signed between Rotary and Lions a few years earlier. 
It was at this time that the planning and organizing for Alzheimer’s Awareness took off.
The Organising Committee became the Alzheimer’s Awareness Advocates (AAA) with a vision of making the BVI a dementia friendly community through awareness, education and advocacy. On August 26 2016 AAA became VI AA, an emerging association of Alzheimer’s Disease International of the UK and was officially recognized as a Not For Profit Organisation in the British Virgin Islands.

VI AA spreads the word through print and online adverts and articles, presentations to religious, social and corporate organisations, and holding community events to raise the awareness.  In addition, VI AA is also very active on social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Food4Change Fundraising Initiative

Food4Change is a fundraising initiative driven by Charity Chicks Barbados and running for the entire month of March at participating restaurants in Barbados.

At fine dining establishments a voluntary $2 will be added to a table's bill, and at fast casual restaurants, donation boxes will be stationed at cash points to lovingly take spare change. The money will be used to purchase healthy, nutritious and as much as possible, local foods for those in need, who will be identified through community nurses in the polyclinic system.

Visit the Food4Change website here, you can also get involved in on Facebook and Instagram

Recent HCC Publications

HCC Strategic Plan 2017-2021
The HCC Strategic Plan 2017 - 2021 was officially launched at the HCC Advocacy, Accountability and Conflict of Interest Meeting held in Antigua and Barbuda from Feb 17-18, 2017. Read/Download
Civil Society Led Tobacco Control Advocacy in the Caribbean
The HCC is honoured to release this seminal report on 'Civil Society Led Tobacco Control Advocacy in the Caribbean - The experiences of the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC)'. Read/Download
Additional publications can be found on our website here.

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Healthy Food Options

Fighting Childhood Obesity
Health officials across the Caribbean are looking to promote stricter guidelines on the types of food allowed for sale at schools, as part of their efforts to minimize the risk of obesity among youth.

This was one of the suggestions raised at a meeting of regional stakeholders earlier this month to discuss ways to reduce childhood obesity.

Senior Technical Officer for Food Security and Nutrition at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Christine Bocage said one step that can be taken is for schools to implement food and nutrition policies that are linked to nutritional guidelines for children.
“So, basically it’s saying in our schools there are certain foods we are allowing you to offer to the children, not just for sale, but what is offered in the school feeding programme or if there’s any other means of offering children foods [at] the school, if it’s not a vendor outside or a restaurant nearby,” Bocage said. Read more

As Obesity Rises, Remote Pacific Islands Plan to Abandon Junk Food

As Obesity Rises, Remote Pacific Islands Plan to Abandon Junk Food
Honk Kong — Cookies and sugary drinks served at government meetings are about to go away. So are imported noodles and canned fish served in tourist bungalows. Taking their place? Local coconuts, lobsters and lime juice.

While many governments struggle to ban soda to curb obesity, the tiny Torba Tourism Council in the remote Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is planning to outlaw all imported food at government functions and tourist establishments across the province’s 13 inhabited islands. Provincial leaders hope to turn them instead into havens of local organic food. The ban, scheduled to take effect in March, comes as many Pacific island nations struggle with an obesity crisis brought on in part by the overconsumption of imported junk foodRead more

Updated NOURISHING Policy Database

Updated NOURISHING Policy Database
World Cancer Research Fund Interenational has updated its NOURISHING policy database – it now holds 390 policy actions from 125 countries, and 70 evaluations!

Included in this update are 36 new and 12 updated policies. Included is a new country, Kiribati, and three very recent policy actions which have come into effect beginning of 2017: Philadelphia’s sugary drinks tax, France’s ban of free soda refills and Ontario’s calorie labelling on menus in chain restaurants (Healthy Menu Choices Act).
Read more

No Decision On WTO Plain Packaging Dispute Before May 2017

No Decision On WTO Plain Packaging Dispute Before May 2017
A 1 December communication [pdf] addressed to the chairperson of the Dispute Settlement Body by the chairperson of the panel tasked with reaching a decision said that “in light of the complexity of the legal and factual issues that arise in this dispute,” the panel now expects to issue its final report to the parties not before May 2017.
The Panel in “Australia – Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging (WT/DS467)” was established by the Dispute Settlement Body on 26 March 2014 and composed on 5 May 2014, according to the communication.

On 29 June 2016, the Panel communicated to the DSB that the final report was expected not before the end of 2016, the communication said. However, it became clear, as the deadline approached that the decision might not be delivered by the end of the year (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 26 July 2016).

Australia’s Tobacco Plain Packaging Act of December 2011, implemented in December 2012, was originally challenged by five countries (Ukraine, Honduras, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Indonesia) at the WTO on the grounds of violation of international trade rules, including those on intellectual property such as trademark and geographical indications, and on technical barriers to trade. Ukraine dropped out of the case in May.

Related article: As world awaits WTO plain packaging decision, legislation spreads across the globe

Increased Risk of 11 Types of Cancer Linked to Being Overweight, Researchers Warn

Increased Risk of 11 Types of Cancer Linked to Being Overweight, Researchers Warn
Study shows strong evidence of a link between excess body fat and cancers of the colon, breast, pancreas and ovary among others.

Being overweight could increase the risk of a host of cancers, including those of the colon, breast, pancreas and ovary, researchers have warned following a wide review of more than 200 studies. According to previous figures from two leading charities, almost three quarters of people are expected to be overweight by 2035, with 700,000 new cases of obesity-related cancer expected over the next 20 years. Weight gain over adult life linked to greater digestive cancer risk, says study
The new study by an international team adds weight to the warning, revealing that there is currently strong evidence for a link between excess body fat and an increased risk of 11 cancers: colon, rectum, endometrium, breast, ovary, kidney, pancreas, gastric cardia, biliary tract system and certain cancers of the oesophagus and bone marrow. Read more

Related press coverage:

University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus - Faculty of Medical Sciences

University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus - Faculty of Medical Sciences
Applications for entry in September 2017 for:

CMPPA 4th Annual Medical Conference & Community Outreach Program

Caribbean Medical Providers Practicing Abroad invites you to their 4th Annual Caribbean Medical Conference where they will bring medical and clinical providers volunteering from around the world to share awareness, education, skills, and community outreach services to the people of Barbados on June 9, 10, & 11, 2017. This year’s conference will be hosted at the Barbados Hilton Hotel, Barbados, West Indies. One of the distinguished speakers at the conference will be HCC President Professor Sir Trevor Hassell.

Find out more and register for the Conference here

Caribbean Cardiac Society - 32nd Caribbean Cardiology Conference - Early-Bird Registration Open

Caribbean Cardiac Society
Make your plans early to attend the 2017 Caribbean Cardiology Conference which will be held July 19 22, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Accommodation booking and early-bird registration are now open! Read more
FCTC Call for interest
FCTC 2030 - Strengthening WHO FCTC implementation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Consistent with decisions made by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the Convention Secretariat has initiated a new project to assist Parties to strengthen implementation of the treaty.

The FCTC 2030 project aims to support Parties to the WHO FCTC that are eligible to receive official development assistance (ODA) to achieve the SDGs by advancing implementation of the Convention. The project will run from April 2017 until March 2021.

Read more and apply here.
HCC Urges Eligible Caribbean Countries to apply

2017 Student Research Paper Contest

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) announces its 2017 Student Research Paper Contest. PCD is looking for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, medical residency and recent post-doctoral fellows to submit papers relevant to the prevention, screening, surveillance, and/or population-based intervention of chronic diseases, including but not limited to arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Read more

Funding and Training Opportunities

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)
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Healthy women, healthy livelihoods
  • Tobacco control in Kenya - A major boost against NCDs
  • Protecting Scottish children from alcohol marketing
  • Health and the new Urban Agenda - A mandate for action
  • The Union calls for revision of WHO antibiotic priority list 
Read more
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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.

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The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
Sagicor Life Inc.
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