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April 21st

Featured

Youth Leading the Way in NCD Research

Youth Leading the Way in NCD Research
Photo: Deposit Photos/AlenaKr
Kern Rocke
Kern Rocke from Trinidad and Tobago is currently pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology and working with the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre in Barbados. Kern has embarked on a research project to determine the community level walkability design; determine the presence of street-level environmental features supporting physical activity within aforementioned communities and to investigate objective and perceived individual walking behaviours of residents within these communities.
The overall aim of this project is to determine the community level walkability design; determine the presence of street-level environmental features supporting physical activity within aforementioned communities and to investigate objective and perceived individual walking behaviours of residents within these communities. This PhD research is being conducted in Barbados, with the aim of building a tool kit for expansion across other Caribbean islands. The study is designed in three phases. Phase one – Geospatial characterization of community-level walkability features (indicators of walkability, mixed land use, street connectivity, population density, and access to public transport and recreational space); Phase two – Street-level environmental features characterization (sidewalk characteristics and quality, intersections, and design characteristics) using the global Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes tool; Phase 3 - Individual-level measurements of walking behavior using research grade activity monitors supplemented with walking diaries.
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In our new normal, physical activity is challenging for many as national lockdowns significantly restrict movement and opportunities for physical activity. Here are some useful links about physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Consumption of Healthy Foods Still Key During Pandemic

Barbados Advocate: The Healthy Caribbean Coalition is issuing a reminder that the nation’s citizens still need to consume healthy foods, inclusive of fruits and vegetables, during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The matter was brought into focus by Maisha Hutton, Executive Director of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC).

Hutton noted that just recently, the HCC launched a COVID-19 Communication Strategy to guide the organisation’s advocacy and communication during the COVID-19 pandemic and one of the five objectives of this strategy focuses on promoting access to, as well as ensuring the consumption of, healthy foods. This is key, since both the HCC and the OECS have agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undermine the gains made in recent years in the prevention and control of diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as well as the maintenance of good health among people living with NCDs.

Just recently, the two entities released a joint statement on “Strengthening Food and Nutrition Security in the Caribbean: A Legacy Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic”, and one key area of focus is on putting together an “Essential Basket of Food Items”, which would include fruits and vegetables.

“We know that many people are stocking up on non-perishables, which tend to be the overly ultra-processed foods, which are not good for our immune system. So the OECS is coming up with an Essential Basket of Healthy Items to assist Government, the private sector and civil society, in identifying packages of food for the most vulnerable. (We acknowledge that) people are trying to move quickly to respond to an urgent need, but there needs to be some sort of guidance,” Hutton told The Barbados Advocate.

“We need to have healthy food baskets, so that we are not creating a situation in which people are more vulnerable to COVID infections because they are eating processed, unhealthy foods,” she further remarked.

Weighing in on the discussion, President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Sir Trevor Hassell, stressed the need for healthy eating as well, especially for those battling NCDs and for those in high risk groups.

“I think it is very clear that those elderly persons with chronic diseases are at particular risk of having an undesirable outcome, if they contract COVID-19. One of the risk factors that contribute to chronic diseases is unhealthy eating; unhealthy eating that leads to overweight and obesity and unhealthy eating that predisposes really to heart disease, and so what is important during this period, is for us to try not only to control the chronic diseases well, but also to seek to build up our immune system by eating healthily,” Sir Trevor noted.

“The fact of the matter is that we need to be eating healthy at all times, whether or not we’ve got a pandemic that’s present. And the issue that we have addressed on many occasions is, that in Barbados and in the Caribbean, we have moved away from healthy eating such as fruits and vegetables and what we refer to as ground provisions and we have moved to a situation quite frankly, where we consume large amounts of unhealthy fat foods or quick serving foods,” he told this newspaper.

He therefore placed on record his support for the OECS’ Health Basket of Food Items, while pointing as well to the HCC’s call for fiscal policies that make the healthier eating choice, the easier and more affordable one.

Original Barbabados Advocate Article
Read the Full Joint Statement
HCC COVID-19 Webpage
Thank the COVID-19 Frontline workers

People Living With Diabetes Share Their Stories During COVID-19

Photos: International Diabetes Federation
NCD Alliance: The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has brought together people with diabetes from all corners of the globe to share their experiences of how COVID-19 has impacted their daily lives. Their stories shed light on how they have been coping with the restrictions that have been put in place and what they are doing to stay healthy and safe, and manage their condition effectively. You can also hear their views on how governments have been responding to the needs of people living with diabetes within the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Do You or a Family Member Have Diabetes, Hypertension or Cardiovascular Disease?

Do You or a Family Member Have Diabetes, Hypertension or Cardiovascular Disease?
Join this 6 week Online NCD Self Care Management Opportunity Today! Daily tips, videos and live sessions by Health Care Professionals.
  1. Follow the Facebook, Instagram or YouTube Page
  2. Visit the site daily at any time. Give yourself time to engage and keep a journal.
  3. Invite a friend or family member to watch with you
  4. Commit to the Journey & Share with others!
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The ECHORN/Yale-TCC Webinar: Socio-Economic Implications of COVID-19 on the Caribbean

Yale-TCC webinar
Thursday April 23, 12:00PM-1:00 PM EST/AST

Presented by Ms. Tonni Brodber, Deputy Representative with the UN Women Multi-Country Office, Barbados.

If you are interested, please email yaletcc@yale.edu for a calendar invitation.

Certificates of attendance available upon request.
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The United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN): COVID-19 Survey

The United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition:
Please take this short questionnaire on the impacts of COVID-19 on our everyday life. It will only take 5 minutes of your time.
Take the survey

Backyard Gardening Initiatives in our Region - Every Seed Counts! 

Backyard Gardening
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Follow HCC’s social media platforms for some helpful tips to get your backyard garden started and let us know what you are doing in your communities!

#HomeGardeningTips #Beatchildhoodobesity #Boostimmunesystem
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World Obesity Federation

The Third Webinar in a Series of ‘World Obesity Live’ Broadcasts on Obesity and COVID-19
Children, Obesity & COVID-19: Risks & recommendations for the vulnerable
Dr Paula Michele Lashley
Dr Paula Michele Lashley, Deputy Dean, Clinical Lecturer in Child Health, Paediatric Consultant, Faculty of Medicine University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, presented 'Childhood Obesity and COVID-19 in the Caribbean' on behalf of the HCC.

Her presentation can be downloaded here
Recordings of the first two Wolrd Obesity Live Webinars in the series can be found on the links below:

How Health Disparities Are Shaping the Impact
of COVID-19

How Health Disparities Are Shaping the Impact of COVID-19
Image: John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
After COVID-19 cases began to mount, the heightened risk for communities of color was the first concern for Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH ’93, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity at the Bloomberg School.

There’s a saying that when America catches a cold, African Americans catch pneumonia. Although racial and ethnic identity is not available for all COVID-19 deaths, even across the existing data, black Americans are 2.4 times more likely to die from the virus than the general population.
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COVID-19: Eating Well, Controlling Diabetes and Blood Pressure Important
Photo: St Lucia News Online

COVID-19: Eating Well, Controlling Diabetes and Blood Pressure Important

St Lucia News Online: Building your immune system and controlling your diabetes and high blood pressure are key factors in fighting off the coronavirus disease COVID-19. This is according to Dr William Adu-Krow, resident representative of the Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) in Guyana. Read more
Photo: Loop News

Czar Expects Increase in COVID-19 Cases From Elderly, NCD Population

Loop News: Barbados' COVID-19 czar, Richard Carter, anticipates the number of positive cases will increase given the high incidence of NCDs (non- communicable diseases) nationally. During an interview with broadcaster Carol Roberts-Reifer, Carter unapologetically stated that he expected more COVID-19 deaths.
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Alejandro Werner
Photo: Internet

Senior IMF Official Warns C’bean Faces Another ‘Lost Decade’ Due to COVID-19

Jamaica Observer: A senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official has warned that Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries face the threat of another “lost decade” during the 2015–25 period amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department, Alejandro Werner, in a blog posted on the IMF website under the caption “Economic Policy in Latin America and the Caribbean in the time of Covid-19,” said that, as of Thursday, an estimated 3,000 people had died from the COVID-19 virus in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more
Photo: St Lucia News Online

Economic Impact of Novel Coronavirus in the Caribbean

St Lucia News Online: As governments across the Caribbean implement responses to prevent, , mitigate, and manage the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its consequences, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean, in collaboration with the United Nations system and key regional organizations, has embarked on a careful assessment to estimate the economic and social impact of the virus on the economies of the subregion. 
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Coronavirus Lockdown: Lessons From Hokkaido’s Second Wave of Infections
Photo: Getty Images

Coronavirus Lockdown: Lessons From Hokkaido’s Second Wave of Infections

BBC News: It was once seen as something of a success story - a region that worked to contain, trace and isolate the virus - leading to a huge drop in numbers. But Hokkaido is in the spotlight again as it struggles to deal with a second wave of infections.
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Obesity Linked to Severe Coronavirus Disease, Especially for Younger Patients
Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Obesity Linked to Severe Coronavirus Disease, Especially for Younger Patients

New York Times: Obesity may be one of the most important predictors of severe coronavirus illness, new studies say. It’s an alarming finding for the United States, which has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.
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News

Exercise During Pregnancy Reduces Obesity Among Offspring

Exercise During Pregnancy Reduces Obesity Among Offspring
Photo: Pixabay
Eureka Alert: When physically fit women exercise during pregnancy they could be setting their children up for better fitness too.

That's according to a study published today in Science Advances led by Min Du, professor of animal sciences at Washington State University, and his PhD student Jun Seok Son.
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Added Sugar: Worse Than You Thought

Added Sugar: Worse Than You Thought
Photo: Pixabay
Newsmax Health: In the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel," the kids have an appetite for a house made of cake, with sugar windows and candy decorations, that leads them straight into the clutches of an evil hag.

In "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Augustus Gloop nearly drowns in the Chocolate River, and Violet Beauregarde becomes a giant blueberry after chowing down a three-course-dinner gum.

But their fates were not nearly as bad as what added sugar intake does to your levels of good HDL cholesterol and potentially harmful triglycerides.
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Researchers Describe Possible Mechanism for Link Between Obesity and Breast Cancer

University of Louisville
High expression of adipose fatty acid binding protein (FABP4) in mammary glands, shown in red, promotes obesity-associated breast cancer development.
Photo: © University of Louisville
It is widely accepted that higher levels of body fat increase the risk of developing breast cancer, as well as other cancers. Based on his ongoing research, Bing Li, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and UofL Health – James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, has published an article which proposes a unique theory that a protein secreted by fat cells drives the development of breast cancer.
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NCD Alliance Newsletter

NCD Alliance
  • People living with diabetes share their stories during COVID-19
  • Gender, COVID-19, and NCDs: men’s neglected vulnerability
  • NCDA network webinar: COVID-19 and health systems
  • Virtual conference: COVID-19 and cardiovascular care
  • Support World Immunization Week from 24-30 April 2020
  • Statement: COVID-19 and the risk of missing vaccines
  • Prioritising mental health during COVID-19
Read more

Our Work

Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean

How Much Sugar is in Your Beverage? Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean
Our 'Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean' infographics are now available as a package, the package includes the full size infographic, a web-booklet version, a full colour printable version, reduced colour version for in house printing and three social media visuals which are shown below.
Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean
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Childhood Obesity Prevention Visuals

A set of infographics, highlighting childhood obesity, the risks and the HCC policy asks.
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Childhood Obesity Prevention
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Social media graphics to campaign for the implementation of our Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
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HCC Technical Brief and Eight Advocacy Priorities

HCC Technical Brief:
HCC Technical Brief: First United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: Technical Brief for CARICOM Countries - A Contribution from Civil Society.
Read download
HCC Advocacy Priorities
HCC Advocacy Priorities for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.
Read/download

Please Help to Monitor the Health of Caribbean Schools

MHCS
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
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard

Key Messages From Our Publications

Call to Urgent Action
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Our Publications
No Marketing to Children
No marketing of unhealthy foods to children
HCC has created a series of  visuals to advocate for front of package nutrition warning labels and to also to campaign against the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Find out more information here.
Read more
CARD 2019: Women and Alcohol
CARD 2019: Women and Alcohol
A set of infographics
Read more
Call to Urgent Action
Call to Urgent Action - Infographics and Social Media Visuals
Read more
See All HCC Publications
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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.

To join the HCC email us at hcc@healthycaribbean.org
The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
Sagicor Life Inc.
The HCC promote the work of civil society throughout the Caribbean in a variety of ways including sharing of their materials, this is not an endorsement of their materials or messages. The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only, we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct but any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. Through this newsletter you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of the HCC. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.
Copyright © 2020 Healthy Caribbean Coalition, All rights reserved.


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