The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

June 12th - June 18th 2015


HCC Applauds the Government of Barbados' New Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Barbados Government Introduce Tax on Sweet Drinks
Dear Members of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition,

The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) is pleased to announce a major public success in the region. On Monday June 15, 2015, the Government of Barbados (GoB) announced that effective August 1, 2015, a 10% excise tax would be applied to the cost of locally produced and imported sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) such as carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices.  Barbados' Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler made the announcement as he delivered the national budget. The Minister noted that “Beverages containing intrinsic sugars only such as 100 percent natural fruit juice, coconut water, plain milk, evaporated milk will not be subject to the excise tax.”

The HCC applauds the bold leadership of the Government of Barbados, the Barbados Ministry of Health and the Barbados National NCD Commission; and congratulates them on this significant public health measure aimed at encouraging Barbadians to consume less sugar. As the only regional alliance of civil society organisations focussed on responding to the epidemic of non communicable diseases (NCDs) in the region, the HCC is committed to promoting and supporting initiatives which seek to create environments which are supportive of changing behaviours which lead to a reduction of disability and deaths related to chronic diseases. 

To read the full open letter click here.
The HCC has also sent a letter of congratulations to the Government of Barbados. 
For press coverage click here.

The HCC Welcome Newest ‘Champion’, Mrs. Nicole Foster

The HCC would like to welcome our newest ‘Champion’, Mrs. Nicole Foster.  In keeping with HCC's strategic objectives, the HCC has increasingly been called upon to make contributions to advocacy and policy development on a number of issues on the global public health agenda. One such issue that has assumed great significance recently is the connection between international trade and health and in particular the WTO-consistency of health initiatives to address NCDs.
Issues such as these require not only general knowledge of international law, but also specialist knowledge of WTO law and international trade policy. Accordingly, the HCC has sought to establish a relationship with experts who can assist with the effective execution of its activities in this area. In this regard, the HCC has agreed to utilise Nicole Foster, Attorney-at-Law and Law Lecturer, as a volunteer Policy Advisor to HCC. Mrs. Foster is a former international trade diplomat with expertise in international law, international trade and international organisations. As Policy Advisor, Mrs. Foster will provide legal advice and comments on the different projects the HCC is engaged with, as appropriate, based on her expertise and professional commitments as an employee of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. Mrs. Foster’s contribution will focus primarily on international trade policy, international trade negotiations and the intersection between trade and health, but will not necessarily be limited to those areas. Mrs. Foster will be acting in a volunteer capacity, offering her services and expertise as public service.


Dominica Diabetes Association Reaching Communities to Increase Knowledge of Blood Pressure Status and Healthy Lifestyles

Australian Aid Direct Aid Program
With support from the Australian Aid Direct Aid Program (DAP) and the HCC, the Dominica Diabetes Association (DOMDA), launched the community screening component of the BPCCA I on May 15, 2015 with a mini- Health Fair at the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church and grounds in the community of Tarreau, Dominica.
Dominica Diabetes Association Reaching Communities
Partners included: The St. Joseph District Health Team are key partners, the Health Promotion Resource Unit of the Ministry of Health, particularly the nutritionist and the communication officers.  The Director of Primary Health Care, Dr. Laura Esprit was also in attendance, so was the media and scores of villagers.
Main activities for the day included: blood pressure screening and education; an exhibition of and counseling on food portions for healthy eating; low salt food tasting of normal everyday food prepared with little or no salt and utilizing fresh garden herbs grown in Dominica; and a display of the volume of salt and sugar in particular processed food. To date almost 100 individuals have been screened and DOMDA aims to screen approximately 700 more over the coming months. To see more on the project click here.

F.D.A. Sets 2018 Deadline to Rid Foods of Trans Fats

Trans Fat Ban
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday gave the food industry three years to eliminate artery-clogging artificial trans fats from the food supply, a long-awaited step that capped years of effort by consumer groups and is expected to save thousands of lives a year. Trans fats — a major contributor to heart disease in the United States — have already been substantially reduced in foods, but they still lurk in many popular products, including frostings, microwave popcorn, packaged pies, frozen pizzas, margarines and coffee creamers. Read more

Eradication of Cervical Cancer: Embracing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #3

Eradication of Cervical Cancer
The Permanent Mission of Grenada to the United Nations - SDG3 Initiative-My Sisters’ Health Watch. Thursday, June 18th, 2015 10:00am – 1:00pm ECOSOC Room, United Nations Headquarters, New York City. Under the auspices of the Governor General of Grenada, Her Excellency, Dame Cécile La Grenade, My Sisters’ Health Watch was declared a vehicle for the delivery of the proposed SDG 3, and its targets; this movement reaffirms our commitment to the improvement of women’s health. Read more

Evaluating Quantitative/Qualitative Issues in Physical Activity in Jamaica (EQUIP-JA) - Pilot Observational Study

Evaluating Quantitative/Qualitative Issues in Physical Activity in Jamaica
The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey 2008 revealed that self-reported physical activity (PA) has decreased among Jamaicans and particularly among females where only 38% of Jamaican women are engaged in moderate to high PA. The Emancipation Park, has been used by Jamaicans for PA, since its opening over a decade ago. UWI Mona Campus researchers have commenced a month-long pilot observation study to accurately assess park usage and conditions at the park using the internationally validated tool - System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC). Semi-structured in-depth interviews will also be conducted to gain further insight into factors influencing PA at Emancipation Park. It is anticipated that the pilot study will pave the way for future studies that will provide novel data on the physical, social and environmental  factors that may influence individual and group physical activity in Jamaica and will also be useful for monitoring and evaluating these investments of public funds.
CARPHA Conference 2015
HSFB Soccerama
Public Lecture Series Issues of Ageing
Click on the images above for more detail

Rethinking and Reframing Obesity

Little progress has been made since The Lancet’s first series on obesity, only acknowledgment that there is a worldwide problem with far-reaching consequences for health and wellbeing. The 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study, published in May, 2014, showed that 37% of men and 38% of women had a body-mass index of 25 kg/m² or greater, a rise of 28% in adults and of 47% in children since 1980. Read more
Tracking universal health coverage: First global monitoring report

Tracking Universal Health Coverage: First Global Monitoring Report

Joint WHO/World Bank Group report, June 2015.
This report is the first of its kind to measure health service coverage and financial protection to assess countries’ progress towards universal health coverage. Read more

SDGs and the private sector: Creating a win-win scenario

End poverty. End Hunger. Provide full employment
End poverty. End Hunger. Provide full employment.
These are just three of the items on humanity’s greatest wish list - the new sustainable development goals, expected to be finalized by the United Nations this fall. Read more
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.
Copyright © 2015 Healthy Caribbean Coalition, All rights reserved.

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