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Healthy Caribbean Coalition

February 10th - February 16th 2019


Front-of-Package Labelling Takes Centre Stage at National Consultation on CARICOM Regional Labelling Standard for Prepackaged Foods in Barbados

Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) guide to nutrient levels in your food
Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) guide to nutrient levels in your food
On February 12th 2019 the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) collaborated with CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Barbados Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOH), to hold a National Consultation on the CARICOM REGIONAL STANDARD Labelling of Foods – Pre-Packaged Foods – Specification CRS 5: 201X, which is currently under revision. The consultation consisted of an awareness seminar which gave an overview of the aforementioned draft CROSQ Standard and emphasised the role and importance of nutritional labels, especially Front-of-Package Labels (FOPL). The need for the revised Regional Labelling Standard was stressed as the present inconsistency of food labels makes it difficult for consumers to choose healthy products.
Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arthur Phillips
Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arthur Phillips
Presentations were made by BNSI, MOH and Women’s Organization for Research and Development (WORD). The HCC Executive Director was invited, as a representative of CSOs, to present on ‘Tackling Childhood Obesity Through Front of Pack Labelling’ and was supported in the audience by Childhood Obesity Prevention (COP) local partner Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB) and the Barbados National NCD Commission. Seminar presentations highlighted the role of robust labelling standards - which include FOPL - in improving food safety, ensuring consumers have access to nutritional information that is easily understood and creating an environment that encourages better nutritional choices.
Executive Director of the HCC, Maisha Hutton
Executive Director of the HCC, Maisha Hutton
The consultation was well attended by a variety of stakeholders from sectors including health, trade, manufacturing and retail, the private sector and the general public. Attendees were given an opportunity to publicly raise questions about proposed revisions to the Regional Standard and were encouraged to continue to submit comments on the Standard as the deadline for such submissions has not yet passed.
Related Media

Study Suggests Innovative Chilean Food Regulations Are Changing Food Perceptions, Norms, Behaviors

Chilean Food Regulations
UNC Press Release: Food regulations targeted at reducing obesity make a positive impact on those most likely to purchase the family’s food – mothers.
A study conducted jointly by researchers at Diego Portales University, University of Chile and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health found that Chilean mothers understood and perceived the benefits of the country’s new policies aimed at combating childhood obesity, and that their awareness influenced their spending habits.
The paper, “Responses to the Chilean law of food labeling and advertising: Exploring knowledge, perceptions and behaviors,” was published DATE in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Read the full UNC press release here.
Read the study

HCC Consultancy Opportunity

Equitable Access to Essential NCD Medicines in the Caribbean

HCC Consultancy Opportunity
The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) is seeking to contract an individual to undertake an assessment of the situation around equitable access to essential NCD medicines in the Caribbean. The Terms of Reference (TORs) for the consultancy can be viewed here. 
Interested, individual consultants should submit their curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter via email to the HCC at the following email address: with the subject: Access to Essential NCD Medicines Consultancy. 
Applications will not be accepted after Thursday February 28th, 2019.
Please feel free to contact Maisha Hutton, Executive Director, if you have any questions.
Read more

Cervical Cancer Third Most Common Cancer Among Women In Latin America and The Caribbean

Cervical Cancer Third Most Common Cancer Among Women In Latin America and The Caribbean
Photo credit: Anastasia Cunningham
Jamaica Gleaner: As the world commemorated World Cancer Day, on Monday, February 4, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) continues its drive to accelerate prevention and control efforts to create a future without cervical cancer, which is the third most common cancer among women in Latin America and the Caribbean, but one that can be prevented.

Every year, more than 56,000 women in Latin America and the Caribbean are diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 28,000 die from it. These figures rise to 72,000 diagnoses and 34,000 deaths when the United States and Canada are included. However, lifesaving prevention and treatment tools do exist.
Read more
Related Media:

HaLT (HeAlthy Lifestyles Team) of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas Continue Their Mission for Better Health

HaLT (HeAlthy Lifestyles Team) of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas continues their mission to educate, inspire, and empower people to make healthier lifestyle choices and advocate for Better Health in The Bahamas. They recently met with parents and teachers at Stephen Dillet Primary and Gambier Primary Schools, students at Gambier Primary as well as students of the TARA Project at St. Gregory Anglican Church.
Stephen Dillet Primary
Stephen Dillet Primary
Stephen Dillet Primary
Stephen Dillet Primary
Gambier Primary School
Gambier Primary School
Gambier Primary School
Gambier Primary School
St. Gregory Anglican Church
St. Gregory Anglican Church
St. Gregory Anglican Church
St. Gregory Anglican Church
Photo credits: HaLT

Plain Packaging on Cigarette Packaging to Be Introduced in Singapore

Plain Packaging on Cigarette Packaging To Be Introduced in Singapore
A proposed layout of a standardised cigarette box
Photo credit: Singapore Ministry of Health
New restrictions on cigarette packaging will be introduced in Singapore, after amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Bill were passed in Parliament on Monday February 11th. 

All tobacco products will be have to be sold in plain packaging - in a standardised colour and with all logos, brand images and promotional information removed. 
Read more

Multisectoral Action Plans in the Caribbean

Multisectoral Action Plans in the Caribbean
WHO/PAHO: In light of the increasing global, regional, and subregional burden of NCDs, several frameworks have been developed by entities such as WHO, PAHO, and CARICOM, and agreements established by their Member States on actions needed for the prevention and control of these conditions. Emphasis has been placed on the influence that the social determinants of health have on the occurrence, severity, and impact of NCDs at the individual, societal, and national developmental levels, and the resulting significant contributions that actions in non-health sectors can make to their prevention and control.
The frameworks encourage whole-of-government, whole-of-society, health-in-all policies, multisectoral approaches to addressing NCDs. One of the global commitments is that countries develop and implement multisectoral action plans (MAPs) to address NCD prevention and control, and WHO has developed an NCD Map Tool to assist in the process.
Read more
HCC has always been committed to supporting a multisectoral reponse to NCDs in the Caribbbean and this is an important resource which highlights strengths in this area, led globally by the Caribbean from the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration (POSD), but the report also underscores the need for strengthened work in this area and makes recommendation for specific actions across all stakeholder groups.  

CARPHA and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Sign Agreement to Strengthen Regional Health Security

CARPHA and Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
(LtoR) Mr Philippe La Cognata, Regional Director for Atlantic Ocean of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD),  His Excellency Serge Lavroff, Ambassador of France to Port of Spain, and Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA
Photo credit: CARPHA
CARPHA: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) signed a €1.5 million funding agreement with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), on Wednesday 13 February 2019. The agreement aims to strengthen strategic intelligence and partnership approaches to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and strengthen regional health security in the Caribbean, which are beneficial to the peoples of our Region.

The agreement was signed by Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA and Mr Philippe La Cognata, Regional Director for Atlantic Ocean of the AFD. This signing ceremony took place at the Embassy of France in Port of Spain.
Read more

More Breast Cancer Research Needed for Susceptible Caribbean Populations, Study Says

More Breast Cancer Research Needed
Fox Chase Cancer Center: Over the last four decades, detailed studies about breast cancer in Caribbean women have been limited and should be expanded, because the disease hits this population especially hard, says Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH, associate professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Ragin’s systematic research review called “Breast Cancer Research in the Caribbean: Analysis of Reports From 1975 to 2017” appeared in the November 2018 edition of the Journal of Global Oncology.

Breast cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related death in Caribbean women,” said Ragin. “However, research in Caribbean populations requires stronger focus and development. Identifying the external and genetic factors that define breast cancer susceptibility in Caribbean women is critical for this population’s health.”

The report concluded that in addition to expanded research into Caribbean populations, a regional strategy for cancer registration is needed in order to address possible underestimates of breast cancer incidence. Read the complete press release.
Read the study
Fewer than 10 Caribbean countries and territories have a population-based cancer registry and less than half of these registries have met international quality standards.
IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub
The IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub is based at CARPHA, an has an official website where you can find out information and more about the activities of Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub.
Read more

Barbados 'Off' Sodas

Barbados 'Off' Sodas
The last Government’s controversial ten-per cent tax on sugary drinks seems to have turned off some Barbadians from buying as many sweet drinks as they did three years ago when it was implemented, a joint University of the West Indies-Cambridge University study has concluded.

Although it appears Barbadians are buying fewer sweet drinks and getting more bottled waters and non-sugar alternatives, sugary drink consumption here is still “three to four times” the global average, a team of researchers has said.

And the overall reduction is still not significant enough to suggest a meaningful dampening of the appetite for the beverages, linked to diabetes, obesity and other health problems, they suggested.
Read more
The impact of the Barbados tax on sales sugary drinks
Accompanying Evidence Brief:
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs): The impact of the Barbados tax on sales sugary drinks
The Barbados SSB tax has contributed to a reduction in sugary drink sales, but there is scope for it to reduce sales sugary drink sales, (and by implication consumption) of SSBs even further. 


St. Kitts & Nevis Will Use Taxes on Alcohol, Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) and Tobacco to Help Fund Universal Healthcare

Ms. Azilla Clarke
Ms. Azilla Clarke, Chair Of St. Kitts And Nevis National Commission On Universal Health Care
Photo credit: St Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS)
St Kitts & Nevis Observer: Universal Healthcare funding will be provided by a combination of wage deductions and increased and new taxes on the lottery, tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages, according to Chairperson for the National Commission on Universal Health Care, Azilla Clarke.

She pointed out Universal Healthcare funding will come from this combination of sources to ensure the sustainability of the coverage.
Read more

Global Hearts Initiative Trinidad & Tobago

Global Hearts Initiative
A stakeholder meeting for the Global Hearts Initiative will take place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday 13 March, 2019.

The Global Hearts Initiative is a programme of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, it consists of five technical packages aimed at improving the management of CVD, and their major risk factors, in the primary health care (PHC) system. HEARTS, the clinical based package for CVD risk assessment and treatment, will be implemented in Trinidad at five clinical sites, in the five health authority regions of Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information on the the HEARTS package, as well as the entire Global Hearts Programme, please visit the link below. 
Read more

Coke Stock Has Worst Day in 10 Years

Coke Stock Has Worst Day in 10 Years
Photo credit: Pexels
CNN Business: Coca-Cola issued a disappointing forecast of 4% growth in 2019 due to the global economic slowdown, a strong dollar and political uncertainty. Shares of Coca-Cola slumped 8% on the news, marking its worst trading day since October 2008.
Read more

NCD Alliance: Bolstering Accountability Must Be Our New Year’s Resolution for 2019: 9 Tools to Help

Bolstering Accountability
Photo credit: Shutterstock
NCD Alliance: Accountability, a cyclical process of monitoring, review and action to assess progress, document success, identify problems that need to be rectified and take prompt action as and where needed, according to the Accountability Framework of the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. It's an ideal fit for civil society to ensure governments are translating their grand commitments into grand actions. Jess Beagley shares why she thinks the New Year's Resolution we all need to adhere to for 2019 is embracing accountability, and she shares some handy and recent tools to help you along the way to making good of your own commitment to do more for NCDs this post-HLM3 year. 
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Eating 'Ultraprocessed' Foods Accelerates Your Risk of Early Death, Study Says

Eating 'Ultraprocessed' Foods Accelerates Your Risk of Early Death, Study Says
Photo credit: Deposit Photos
CNN: The quick and easy noshes you love are chipping away at your mortality one nibble at a time, according to new research from France: We face a 14% higher risk of early death with each 10% increase in the amount of ultraprocessed foods we eat.

"Ultraprocessed foods are manufactured industrially from multiple ingredients that usually include additives used for technological and/or cosmetic purposes," wrote the authors of the study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "Ultraprocessed foods are mostly consumed in the form of snacks, desserts, or ready-to-eat or -heat meals," and their consumption "has largely increased during the past several decades."

This trend may drive an increase of early deaths due to chronic illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, they say.
Read more
Related Media:

Artificially Sweetened Drinks Linked to High Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

New Study by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association
Artificially Sweetened Drinks Linked to Stroke
CNN: More bad news for diet soda lovers: Drinking two or more of any kind of artificially sweetened drinks a day is linked to an increased risk of clot-based strokes, heart attacks and early death in women over 50, according to a new study by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

The risks were highest for women with no history of heart disease or diabetes and women who were obese or African-American.

Previous research has shown a link between diet beverages and stroke, dementia, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
Read more
Related Media

Latest PAHO “Basic Indicators” Shed Light on Health Situation in the Americas

Latest PAHO “Basic Indicators”
PAHO: Noncommunicable diseases - such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke - are the main causes of death in the Americas, causing seven times more deaths than infectious diseases

The Americas region is home to more than one billion people. Every year, 15 million babies are born, and nearly 7 million people die. Life expectancy is 80.2 years for women and 74.6 for men. More than 8 in 10 people live in urban areas. These are some of the key statistics presented in the new “2018 Basic Indicators,” just published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Read more

Interesting Reading

The Case for Investment in Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Jamaica: Evaluating the Return on Investment of Selected Tobacco, Alcohol, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease Interventions
The Case for Investment in Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Jamaica
PAHO: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are a major driver of morbidity and mortality in Jamaica. Beyond the toll on health, NCDs also impose a significant burden on the national economy since individuals with NCDs are more likely to exit the labor force, miss days of work, and/or work at reduced capacity. In addition, high expenditures to treat NCDs impose a direct economic burden to the health system, the society and to the nation of Jamaica, which can lead to reduced investments in areas like education and physical capital, which increase gross domestic product (GDP) in the long run.
Unless urgently and adequately addressed, the health and economic burden of NCDs will continue to rise.
Read more

Obesity News from Across the Globe

Watching TV Has a Greater Link to Obesity
Photo: Shutterstock/Alena Ozerova

Watching TV Has a Greater Link to Obesity Than Other Sitting Activities Like Video Games

UK Daily Mail: Watching TV puts children at the greatest risk of obesity in comparison to other downtime activities, a study has found. Whether the child is playing video games, is eating, or on a computer has more of an impact on their weight than the duration of their sitting time, it claimed. Read more
Obesity and Empowered Choices
Photo: Getty Images

Obesity and Empowered Choices

New Zealand Newsroom: One of the biggest concerns for human health in the 21st century is ever-increasing obesity and its associated mortality rate.

Termed a 21st-century epidemic, obesity has some serious financial consequences for most nations and huge implications for national healthcare expenditures. Read more
The obesity-paradox: impact of body composition on cancer survival
Photo: Sherry Young / Fotolia

The Obesity-paradox: Impact of Body Composition on Cancer Survival

BMC: Despite being a known risk factor for colon cancer, a new study published in BMC Cancer has found obesity to be paradoxically associated with better survival in a cohort of 217 advanced stage colorectal cancer patients. Despite recent efforts in both the public and private sector to promote the consumption of healthier foods and motivate people to be more physically active, obesity remains a major concern worldwide Read more
Link Between Recreational Physical Activity Spaces in a Neighbourhood and Obesity Risk in Adults
Photo: Pexels

A New Study Shows a Link Between Recreational Physical Activity Spaces in a Neighbourhood and Obesity Risk in Adults 

University of Canterbury: Dr Matthew Hobbs, a researcher at the University of Canterbury’s GeoHealth Laboratory, has published one of the first longitudinal studies, which suggests age may be a determining factor when analysing the relationship between an individual’s recreational physical activity environment and obesity. Read more

Please Help to Monitor the Health of Caribbean Schools

My Healthy Caribbean School (MHCS) is an initiative of the HCC which provides students, teachers and parents with the opportunity to monitor the school environment with a focus on nutrition and physical activity.
Find out more
Key Messages From Our Publications
Key Messages from the Third Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day
Sobering Myths & Misconceptions
Youth and Alcohol Don't Mix
Read more
The NCD Alliance


  • Meeting sets next steps on NCDs, previews UHC HLM
  • Healthier streets, built to share, across the United States
  • The political economy of NCDs  in spotlight at PMAC 2019
  • Conference to explore global food systems challenges
  • City Cancer Challenge an independent foundation
  • Solutions to shape a future of integrated care for NCDs
  • Register for next NCDA webinar: Wednesday, 20 Feb
  • Consultant - essential NCD medicines in the Caribbean
  • Professors - Global women's health, Health systems science
Read more
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard
Forthcoming Events


Barbados National Registry Celebrates 10th Anniversary

BNR 10th Anniversary
March 3rd, 2019, Church Service at the  at New Dimensions Ministries, Barbarees Hill, St Michael at 8am.
March 9th, 2019 from 10am - 3pm 10th Anniversary Extravaganza here at the GA-CDRC grounds. The event will feature Opening Remarks by Lt. Col. The Hon. Jeffrey D. Bostic, M.P., Minister of Health and Wellness, it will also feature comments by Professor Hassell, Professor Samuels and Dr Natasha Sobers, followed by health activities. 
April 5th, 2019, the BNR, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be hosting a 10th Anniversary CME Seminar and Public Lecture at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Read more


CARPHA Health Research Conference - Primary Health Care : Current and Future Models for the Caribbean

CARPHA Conference
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Our Publications
Caribbean Fruit and Vegetable  Infographics
Caribbean Fruit and Vegetable

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An Insight into Depression in the Caribbean
An Insight into Depression in the Caribbean Infographic 

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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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