The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

April 29th - May 5th 2017


Healthy me...Healthy you...Healthy T&T

Trinidad & Tobago Launches National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs
The Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Health officially launched their National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) on Wednesday 3rd May 3rd, 2017.  The plan which spans the next 5 years (2017-2021) will be funded through a forty-eight million US dollar loan from the Inter-American Development Bank. 
Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh
The national event was attended by over 200 individuals from across all sectors including civil society. Ms. Dona Da Costa Martinez Chairman of the recently formed Trinidad & Tobago National NCD Alliance gave opening remarks which were followed by a video address by Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director, Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation and an address by Sir George Alleyne Chancellor, University of the West Indies whose presentation was entitled: “Some Wider Dimensions to the NCD Challenge”.  Sir Trevor Hassell, President of the HCC was invited to attend and presented on the Role of Civil Society in NCD Prevention and Control. HCC Special Advisor and ED of CARPHA, Dr. James Hospedales also attended and presented.  The feature address was given by Minister of Health Hon. Terrence Deyalsingh whose Ministry recently announced a national ban on SSBs in government schools in Trinidad & Tobago.  The Hon. Minister shared details of the plan including a greater focus on: addressing risk factors; expanded educational and awareness campaigns; creating environments supportive of physical activity; and increased retraining for primary health care workers. 

The Government has a webpage dedicated to the plan and NCDs here.
Download the National Strategic Plan
Watch two videos taken at the launch event below.
A Theatrical Presentation
2 Cent Movement
Mrs. Sheila Aaron Providence,
diabetic amputee, sharing an emotional patient testimonial.
Related Media Coverage:
Health Ministry Launches Non-communicable Diseases Strategic Plan 
Video first shown here on Ctv Trinidad and Tobago.
Public Gyms to Help Keep Population Fit
Public Gyms to Help Keep Population Fit
As the Ministry of Health steps up efforts to reclaim T&T from the scourge of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) currently crippling it, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says the Government is committed to doing everything to ensure the next generation is more healthy and fit. Among the efforts will be the establishment of public outdoor gyms in strategic locations and the introduction of a national physical activity plan specially targeting the elderly and children.
Read more
Health Ministry launches US$48m plan to combat NCDs

The biggest challenge after launching a plan to combat non-communicable diseases in T&T is getting persons to change their eating habits. The National NCD Strategic Plan was launched today May 3rd and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says for it to work successfully, the average man on the street must understand the message. He admits though, that it is not easy since food marketers have convinced persons to buy unhealthy foods. Play Audio: Deyalsingh Food Marketing 03 05 17

In addition, Mr Deyalsingh says the NCD plan will also tackle behaviour patterns adopted by the population. Play Audio: Deyalsingh Sitting Disease 03 05 17

The estimated cost of the plan is valued at US $48 million, with the theme entitled ‘Healthy me, Healthy you, Healthy T&T.’ Original article on 103FM website here.

Health Minister: $8.7bn a Year to Treat Lifestyle Diseases

The economic cost to T&T of non-communicable diseases such as cancers, diabetes and hypertension is $8.7 billion annually, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says. Replying to Opposition questions in Parliament yesterday, Deyalsingh said the breakdown of the annual cost is: cancers ($2.0b), diabetes ($3.5b) and hypertension ($3.2b).
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PSI Caribbean CORE Youth Movement Program 

"In light of the challenges being posed to our nation by non-communicable diseases – particularly obesity among our youth – PSI-Caribbean is committed to working alongside key partners locally, regionally and internationally to develop, implement, and scale interventions that offer long term impact for its beneficiaries. We continue to craft innovative solutions that are based on evidence and user insight, in order to respond to the burden of disease and to advocate for greater investment in NCD prevention at all levels and along the life cycle."
Marina Hilaire Executive Director of PSI Caribbean

PSI will be sharing evaluation findings of the first phase of the pilot soon.

Junk Food Publicity Directed to Children is Illegal, Says Brazil's Federal Supreme Court

Healthy Workplaces - Healthy Spaces - Healthy Workers
As reported first on the NCD Alliance website - In another historic decision, the Second Chamber of the Superior Justice Court ratified on Tuesday 25 April that publicity directed at children is abusive, and therefore illegal, and maintained a fine of over R$305,000 against Sadia by the São Paulo Consumer Bureau in 2009.

The deliberation took place during the trial of the ‘Mascotes Sadia’ (Sadia Mascots) campaign, launched during the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In the campaign, children collected stamps found in the brand’s products and, with an additional R$3.00, could purchase stuffed animals.

The verdict corroborates the previously unprecedented decision from March 10, 2016 that, for the same reasons, convicted the company Pandurata, owner to the rights to the Bauducco brand, for their ‘É hora de Shrek' (It’s Shrek time) campaign.
Read more

CARPHA Joins Regional Climate Resilience Alliance   

CARPHA Joins Regional Climate Resilience Alliance   
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) today to join other CARICOM and non-Governmental agencies, representing climate-sensitive sectors in the Caribbean, as the lead health partner on the Consortium of Regional Sectoral Early Warning Information Systems Across Climate Timescales (EWISACTs) Coordination Partners.  This initiative is currently being spearheaded by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).
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Regional Experts Lay Groundwork for Roadmap on Climate Change and Health   

Regional Experts Lay Groundwork for Roadmap on Climate Change and Health   
Recognised by the World Health Organization, as one of the greatest threats to human health and the environment, climate change can affect safe drinking water, secure shelter, sufficient food and shelter in the Caribbean region. Climate change is driven by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activities of burning oil and gas. This traps the sun’s energy in the air and is causing global warming and rising sea levels, with projections of a 2 metre or 6 foot rise in sea levels by 2100. This has profound implications for the Caribbean, made up of most small island and low lying coastal states (SIDS). The increasing frequency and strength of hurricanes, and widespread coral bleaching, floods and droughts are symptoms of the problem. .
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The Sickle Cell Unit: ‘We care’

Magnified Sickle Cells
The Sickle Cell Unit (SCU) became a unit of the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), formerly the Tropical Medicine Research Institute, in 1999. The unit’s goal is to improve the lives of people living with sickle-cell disease (SCD) through clinical care, research and education.
Professor Jennifer Knight-Madden
The SCU is the only comprehensive facility for the care of people with SCD in the English-speaking Caribbean. In fact, the unit is one of the largest such facilities worldwide, with more than 5,000 registered patients. More than 3,000 individuals are treated annually, accounting for more than 9,000 visits.

Professor Jennifer Knight-Madden is Director of the Sickle Cell Unit and also  a contributing voice to the HCC.
Read more

How Much Sugar Is In That?

How Much Sugar Is In That?
An article from HCC Member Wellness 4Front - During our March Wellness Workshop, Dietitian Dianne Charles prepared a brilliant display of popular juices and soft drinks consumed in Trinidad & Tobago.  Not only did she label each drink with the number of teaspoons each drink contained, she also made a visual representation of just what that amount of sugar looked like.
We were all stunned.  Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  
Realizing that sugary drinks are having a detrimental affect on the obesity epidemic and in turn the rise in non-communicable disease for both children and adults in Trinidad & Tobago, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition prepared what I will call a “cheat sheet” to highlight this issue and to provide a useful guide to help us, as consumers, make healthier choices.
Read more
Related HCC Publications
The HCC Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021
Infographic on the sugar content of popular sugar sweetened beverages in the Caribbean, with regional, international and country specific data.
A Closer Look: The Implemetation of Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages by the Government of Barbados
A Closer Look: The Implemetation of Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages by the Government of Barbados
See All HCC Publications

Jamaica Ministry of Health to Introduce HPV Vaccine

Jamaica Ministry of Health to Introduce HPV Vaccine
The health ministry intends to introduce a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine this year in the fight against cervical cancer. "A study in the United States revealed that within four years of the vaccine's introduction, HPV decreased by over 50 per cent among females age 14 to 19. This is very good news for the fight against cervical cancer," said Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton.

In his message, read by Acting Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Dr Beverley Wright at the launch of the Jamaica Cancer Society's fundraising initiative, Relay for Life, at Emancipation Park in Kingston on Friday, Tufton said the vaccine is just one of several interventions by the ministry to reduce cases of cancer among the population.
Read more

Bajan Nears Cure for Breast Cancer

A leading Barbadian scientist and her team of researchers in Canada are unearthing vital answers to a medical mystery that surrounds a deadly form of breast cancer that’s taking a heavy toll on women, especially Blacks.
Bajan Nears Cure for Breast Cancer
Triple negative breast cancer, TNBC, kills thousands of women, especially black females, every year. Dr Juliet Daniel, a biology professor at McMaster University in Ontario said, “yes, we are on our way to answering some of the key questions about the disease.”

And if the scientific evidence leads to firm conclusions about the disease, the findings of Daniel’s study, which was launched in 2011 in Barbados and then Nigeria, could eventually lead to the development of a drug designed to cure TNBC and save lives worldwide.

Original article taken from the Barbados Nation News online here.

PAHO says Inequality, Exclusion the Most Important Challenges for Health, Well-being in the Caribbean

PAHO says Inequality, Exclusion the Most Important Challenges
Mexico City, Apr 30, CMC – Head of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, says the most important challenges to health and well-being in the Americas, including the Caribbean, are rooted in inequity and social exclusion.

“Health is crucial to achieving the 2030 Agenda as a whole,” said the Dominican-born Etienne in addressing the Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development here, calling for health challenges to be addressed with more than just technical action. “There is a need for greater political commitment, collective efforts and the involvement of actors at all levels to effectively ensure that no one is left behind,” added PAHO director.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly.
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Get Action Plan for Asthma!

President of the Asthma Association of Barbados, Rosita Pollard
Parents must work alongside teachers to ensure that asthma is better managed in schools and students can have more favourable outcomes.President of the Asthma Association of Barbados, Rosita Pollard pointed out the above yesterday, as the Association celebrated World Asthma Day with a few activities at its office, located at Shop #3 Tyrol Cot Heritage Village, Codrington Hill, St. Michael.

Pollard stressed that it is important that school personnel have a full understanding of asthma and how it can affect children, so as to reduce the fear and helplessness that often accompanies an asthmatic episode. Parents of asthmatic children should also be encouraged to discuss this chronic respiratory medical condition with the teachers, the principal and the school nurse if one is available and there should be written guidelines and an action plan on the steps to take if a student shows signs of having an asthma attack, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.
Read more

Barbados: Call for Higher Drinks Tax

Barbados: Call for higher drinks tax
As the Government of Barbados mulls over doubling the ten per cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, a former chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association is contending that the tax needs to be much higher.

Businessman Alex McDonald is proposing that the measure increase to 50 per cent to help fight the non-communicable disease problem wreaking havoc on the country’s health care system. “Recently, the minister of finance started taxing sweet drinks. In my view it’s a good start but it’s not enough. Professor (Sir Henry) Fraser says tax at 20 per cent. “I say tax at 50 per cent because if you must drink these beverages, let the price reflect the cost of the care that we will ultimately have to give you downstream. (WILLCOMM) Original article taken from the Barbados Nation News online here.

50% Hike Bay be ‘Answer’

Alex McDonald may very well be on to a solution to the issue of dealing with chronic noncommunicable diseases. So says advocate for better health, Sir Henry Fraser, in response to the suggestion made last  weekend by McDonald, former chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, who thinks the tax on sweetened drinks should be increased from ten per cent to 50 per cent. McDonald’s suggestion is 30 per cent more than the counter suggestion made by Sir Henry recently.
Read more

Use Drinks Tax ‘to Subsidise’ Healthier Food

ALONG WITH INCREASING the current sweet drink tax from ten per cent to 20 per cent, a Canadian nutrition expert is recommending that the money collected from that tax be used towards subsidising healthy foods. The advice has come from Helene Charlebois, who has also bemoaned the lack of available healthy food options on the island. She said the money which Government received from the tax should be used to help with the high cost of importing food.
Read more
'Advocacy and education appear to be catching on in Barbados, now is the time for civil society to continue targeted advocacy aimed at policymakers to implement legislation which creates environments more supportive of healthier diets'. 
HCC Executive Director Maisha Hutton

Overweight Kids are Costing America Billions

Overweight Kids are Costing America Billions
The best way to set your kid up for financial success can be a nest egg, a grandparent's inheritance or a healthy 529 plan.

Or, it could be as simple as keeping them in shape.

A Johns Hopkins University study found overweight people, over the course of a lifetime, spend an average of about $30,000 more than healthy people on medical conditions associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, heart attacks, heart failure and certain types of cancers.
Read more

NCD Alliance Webinar - Wednesday 10 May

NCD Alliance Webinar
The NCD Alliance will be holding their next webinar on Wednesday 10th May from 10:00–11:30 EDT // 16:00 – 17:30 CET. The webinar will focus on preparations for the 70th World Health Assembly, together with other current topics. A more detailed agenda will be available in the coming weeks.
In addition, we invite our participants to submit questions prior to the webinar by emailing in advance. Participants will also be able to send questions and feedback during the webinar.
Register here

4th Non-Latin Caribbean Conference on Alzheimer's and other Dementias

4th Non-Latin Caribbean Conference on Alzheimer's and other Dementias
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5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health

5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health
Register online before June 2, 2017 to take advantage of discounted rates to attend the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health, which will take place on June 13-16, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay. Registration and hotel information can be found at . The conference will have simultaneous English-Spanish translation.
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Cancer Support Services 6th Annual Conference

Registration is now open
CSS 6th Annual Conference
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CMPPA 4th Annual Medical Conference & Community Outreach Program

CMPPA 4th Annual Medical Conference & Community Outreach Program
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Caribbean Cardiac Society - 32nd Caribbean Cardiology Conference - Early-Bird Registration Open

Caribbean Cardiac Society
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AC3 Conference 2017

AC3 Conference 2017
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NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Strengthening young NCD coalitions in East Africa 
  • WHA 2017: Civil society advocacy briefing for NGOs
  • WHA 2017: Success Factors for NCDs side event 
  • Join our May webinar! Focus on preparations for WHA 2017
  • Women Deliver webinar series: Diabetes in pregnancy
  • Marketing to children is illegal, says Brazil's Supreme Court 
  • Launch of the Jordan NCD Alliance
Read more
SCI Update
  • SCI News and Events
  • SCI in Pictures
  • Rounds Round-Up
  • Spotlight On
  • Operations Summary 
  • Letter from the Co-Chairs 
Read more
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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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