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February 19th


HCC Receives Sharjah Award for Excellence in NCD Civil Society Action: 'Civil Society Accountability Framework for Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies in the Caribbean'

Caribbean Delegation in Sharjah
The Caribbean region was represented: (L to R) Ms. Asha Samaroo, First Vice President, Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Our Views, Our Voices Advocate, T&T NCD Alliance, Mark Mungal, Director, Caribbean Sport and Development Agency, Dr. Karen Sealey, HCC Director & Founder of the T&T NCD Alliance, Stephanie Whiteman, Youth Advocate & PhD Candidate at the George Alleyne CDRC. Deborah Chen, Executive Director of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica & Board Member, NCD Alliance, Maisha Hutton, HCC Executive Director, Sir Trevor Hassell, HCC President & Board Member, NCD Alliance, Dona Da Costa Martinez, President of the T&T NCD Alliance & Executive Director Family Planning Association of T&T, Pierre Cooke Jr, HCC Youth Voices Technical Advisor & Barbados National Youth Parliament
The third Global NCD Alliance Forum took place 9-11 February 2020, in Sharjah, UAE, which provided a prime opportunity to unite and mobilise NCD civil society to monitor governments’ progress and advocate for action to implement global pledges five years ahead of the next UN HLM and the 2025 date for globally agreed NCD targets.
Sir Trevor Hassell chaired the Opening Plenary and moderated Workshop 3.5: David versus Goliath: Strategies for managing conflict of interest and countering industry interference in public health policy. Click on the images below to see quotes from Sir Trevor Hassell.
Sir Trevor Hassell
Sir Trevor Hassell
Sir Trevor Hassell
Sir Trevor Hassell
Pierre Cooke Jr
Pierre Cooke Jr, HCC Youth Voices Technical Advisor & Barbados National Youth Parliament
Photo: © Gilberto Lontro for NCD Alliance
Across the three days of the forum members of the Caribbean delegation contributed to the various workshops.
  • Mr Pierre Cooke Jnr presented at Workshop 1.4: Transforming the narrative of childhood obesity and was a panelist for Plenary Three: Enhancing accountability for all people with NCDs everywhere through transformative and inclusive governance.
  • Ms Maisha Hutton presented at Workshop 1.6: The power of data to fuel systems reform for NCDs: Leveraging evidence to achieve planetary and human health and at Workshop 2.2: Win-win interventions: Leveraging policy to address NCDs and reduce gender inequities in health.
  • Dr Karen Sealey Presented at Workshop 2.1: Beyond the declaration: Maximising political momentum on UHC for NCDs and mental health.
  • Ms Asha Samaroo presented at Workshop 3.3: Think like a broadcaster: How to create compelling stories and increase media attention for NCDs.
  • Ms Deborah Chen presented at Workshop 3.5: David versus Goliath: Strategies for managing conflict of interest and countering industry interference in public health policy.
HCC Recieves Sharjah Award for Excellence in NCD Civil Society Action
Global NCD Alliance Forum 2020, Sharjah Awards Winners
Photo: © Gilberto Lontro for NCD Alliance
NCD Atlas - Bridging the Gap on NCDs through Civil Society Action
The HCC was one of three national and regional NCD alliances who received the 2020 Sharjah Award for Excellence in NCD Civil Society Action at the Global NCDA Forum. The Vietnam NCDA, Slovenia NCDA and the Healthy Caribbean Coalition received the honour during the Forum’s Closing Ceremony on Tuesday February 11th. The HCC's award was for it's case study ‘Civil Society Accountability Framework for Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies in the Caribbean’ featured in the NCD Aliance's NCD Atlas - Bridging the Gap on NCDs through Civil Society Action.
The Awards were presented by HE Mrs Sawsan Jafar, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Friends of Cancer Patients, United Arab Emirates of the Forum’s local host organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients, and Todd Harper, President of the NCD Alliance. Read more

The HCC was also a winner in 2017 at the 2nd Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah for the NCD Alliance NCD Atlas submission ‘Building Civil Society Capacity to Improve Access to Cancer Services for Underserved Populations’, which documented work on The Caribbean Civil Society Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative (C4PI).
Sharjah Award
Sharjah Award
The HCC also took the time to meet with the African Delegates and other like minded organisations to discuss mutual learning and sharing of experiences around NCD Alliance building.

For more images from the forum visit our website here.
The Forum provided a prime opportunity to unite and mobilise NCD civil society to monitor governments’ progress and advocate for action to implement global pledges five years ahead of the next UN HLM and the 2025 date for globally agreed NCD targets.

More from the NCD Alliance Global Forum 2020:

Landmark Chilean Law Is Effective in Tackling Drivers of Obesity

Landmark Chilean Law Is Effective in Tackling Drivers of Obesity
HCC Press Release: Studies show comprehensive policies do work to reduce consumers’ sugary drink purchases, children’s exposure to unhealthy food marketing and advertising.

Recent studies of obesity prevention efforts implemented in Chile have found that consumers purchased fewer sugary drinks, while Chilean children saw less advertising and marketing of unhealthy food and drinks, thanks to a comprehensive food advertising and labeling law that went into effect in 2016. The three studies, published in peer-reviewed journals, underscore why Caribbean governments should strongly consider effective front-of- package warning labels and marketing restrictions as part of their obesity prevention efforts, says the Healthy Caribbean Coalition.

In 2016, Chile implemented the Law of Food Labeling and Advertising, which is the first national regulation that requires front-of-package warning labels on foods and beverages high in added sugars, salt, or saturated fats, restricts child-directed marketing of such foods, and bans the sales of these foods in and near schools. A Public Health Nutrition study found that the Chilean policy led to significant reductions in children’s exposure to junk food ads. An International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health study found that there was a significantly lower use of child-directed marketing strategies in sugary breakfast cereal packages as a result of the Chilean policy.
Read full press release
HCC Op-ed featured in the Jamaica Gleaner here.
Related Media:


Our Views, Our Voices Barbados Training Workshop Participants Are Engaging in Advocacy

Our Views, Our Voices Barbados
Our Views, Our Voices is an initiative of the NCD Alliance and people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that seeks to meaningfully involve people living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) in the fight against NCDs. In late November 2019, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition held an Our Views, Our Voices peer-led training workshop in Barbados. Participants engaged in fun activities which equipped them with skills to use their lived experience - as PLWNCDs or caregivers to PLWNCDs - to become meaningfully involved in NCD response. Attendees were encouraged to engage in advocacy by sharing their stories and using their voices to take action and drive change in the fight against NCDs. While our participants were all at different stages in their advocacy journeys, they came together to lend their voices to NCD advocacy efforts. See some of their activities below:
  • Comments Draft National Strategic Plan on NCDs for 2020-2025 In early December 2019, participants submitted comments on the Draft National NCD Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 to the Barbados Ministry of Health and Wellness. This was done to ensure the voices of PLWNCDs were reflected in the draft of a key strategic plan that will shape the NCD response in Barbados for the next five years.
  • Stories of Change Every person who engages in advocacy has a unique lived experience which led them on their advocacy journey. Some of our participants shared their stories at the November training.
  • My Advocacy Strength Series - NCDs affect everyone in our global community either directly or indirectly. Anyone can be an advocate. This series aims to showcase how persons interested in advocacy can use their strengths to make a difference. Through the Our Views, Our Voices Barbados training workshop, participants identified some of their strengths and considered how they could use those strengths to support their advocacy efforts and drive change.
Videos, pictures and much more can be found on our website by clicking/tapping the button below.
Read more

Rapid Assessment of the School Nutrition Policy Environment In Select Caribbean Countries 

HCC is delighted to launch this rapid assessment of the school nutrition policy environment in selected Caribbean countries. In 2019, the HCC conducted a rapid assessment of the school nutrition policy environment in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. 

The assessment aimed to: 
  1. Provide regional advocates and key stakeholders with a snapshot of the progress made by a subset of countries, that have expressed interest in implementing healthy school nutrition policies.
  2. Identify factors affecting local school nutrition environments that can be leveraged by advocates lobbying for healthy school nutrition policies. 
The HCC would like to thank all of our stakeholders from regional Ministries of Health and Education, PAHO, FAO, CARPHA and civil society, especially our HCC Regional Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Team members, for providing thoughtful feedback to inform this assessment. We hope that this resource will be used by advocates and policymakers and ultimately will contribute to the advancement of healthy school policies in the Caribbean.  

Noncommunicable Diseases Progress Monitor 2020

Noncommunicable Diseases Progress Monitor 2020
WHO: In May 2015 the World Health Organization published a Technical Note on how WHO will report in 2017 to the United Nations General Assembly on the progress achieved in the implementation of national commitments included in the 2011 UN Political Declaration and the 2014 UN Outcome Document on NCDs. The Technical Note was updated in September 2017 to ensure alignment with the updated set of WHO ‘best-buys’ and other recommended interventions for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases which were endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2017.
The third in a series, the 2020 Progress Monitor provides data on the 19 indicators detailed in the Technical Note for all of WHO’s 194 Member States. The indicators include setting time-bound targets to reduce NCD deaths; developing all-of-government policies to address NCDs; implementing key tobacco demand reduction measures, measures to reduce harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets and promote physical activity; and strengthening health systems through primary health care and universal health coverage.

Children Facing Uncertain Future, Experts Warn

Photo: Getty Images
BBC: No country offers a child both the chance of a healthy upbringing and an environment fit for their future, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. Experts say climate change and harmful advertising encouraging fast-food consumption and under-age drinking are putting children at risk.

The report by the WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and the Lancet Commission, ranked 180 countries on the likelihood of a child being able to "flourish", focusing on health and wellbeing factors such as education, nutrition and child mortality.
Read more
The only countries on track to beat CO2 emission per capita targets by 2030, while also performing fairly (within the top 70) on child flourishing measures are: Albania, Armenia, Grenada, Jordan, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay and Vietnam.

Presentation Slides and Recording Now Available

Webinar: Exploring The Pursuit of Effective Public Health Policies Through A Trade Lens
Presentation slides and recording of the recent HCC webinar Exploring The Pursuit of Effective Public Health Policies Through A Trade Lens are now available on the HCC website.
Read more
Antigua Barbuda Moves

World Heart Federation Roadmap for Heart Failure

World Heart Federation Roadmap for Heart Failure
Image: WHF
World Heart Federation: Due to the aging population, increase in cardiovascular risk factors and improved survival of cardiovascular conditions, the prevalence of heart failure is increasing globally to an estimated number of 26 million, with additional millions of undiagnosed cases. Despite the fact that many cardiovascular diseases end in heart failure, the condition too often fails to attract the awareness and emphasis it deserves.
World Heart Federation Roadmap on Heart Failure
World Heart Federation Roadmap on Heart Failure
Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body’s needs. It can be either acute and come on suddenly, or a progressive, long-term condition. The symptoms including worsening shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, tiredness and fatigue, fluid retention with swelling of the legs and/or abdomen, and being less able to do physically demanding tasks or exercise.
Read more

Global Heart Goes Open Access

Global Heart
World Heart Federation: The official journal of the World Heart Federation, Global Heart, is now open access. As of January 2020, all issues of Global Heart can be accessed for free online without a subscription. Previously published issues of the journal will also become freely available under this new scheme.
Access Global Heart

Together We Can Eliminate Cervical Cancer

Together We Can Eliminate Cervical Cancer
PSI feature on Trinidad and Tobago
PSI: In one year, 1 in 2 women with cervical cancer will die from the disease – with the majority of deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Cervical cancer is preventable and treat​able​. But with limited education and awareness, plus barriers to comprehensive ​care, girls and women across developing countries ​often do not receive the services that can save their lives. With the right resources, we can eliminate cervical cancer. But to get there, we need buy-in from all. ​

PSI works with government​s ​and partners ​across philanthropic and commercial sectors to support 19 countries​’ efforts to achieve the WHO’s global cervical cancer elimination goals.
Read more
Read more about the HCC's work on Cervical Cancer Prevention here.

Increase in Tobacco-Related Cancer Deaths Confirms Governments Must Act Urgently to Reduce Tobacco Use

The Prevent20 coalition of cancer organizations today issued the following statement on new data released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Health Organization (WHO), which show that tobacco-related cancers now account for 25 percent of all cancer deaths globally. Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Jacqui Drope, Managing Director, Global Cancer Prevention, American Cancer Society said:

“These new data included in reports from IARC and WHO are hugely disappointing, but unsurprising. Increases in tobacco-related cancer follow the trajectory of global increases in tobacco use in previous decades. The epidemic of tobacco-related cancer deaths that started in countries like the USA now is spreading its deadly reach in low-and middle-income countries across the world.”
Read more
The HCC is working with the American Cancer Society’s Global Prevent20 initiative to mobilise Caribbean Cancer societies around tobacco control.

Barbara McGaw, regional leader in tobacco control advocacy and HCC’s Tobacco Control Advisor as well as the volunteer Tobacco Advisor at the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC), is leading this effort in the region. Read more

Voices for Healthy Kids

Voices for Healthy Kids
New look website for Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), works to help all young people eat healthier foods and be more active.
Read more

How Ultra-Processed Food Took Over Your Shopping Basket

How Ultra-Processed Food Took Over Your Shopping Basket
Illustration: Guardian Design
The Guardian: It’s cheap, attractive and convenient, and we eat it every day - it’s difficult not to. But is ultra-processed food making us ill and driving the global obesity crisis? - By Bee Wilson

Nearly three decades ago, when I was an overweight teenager, I sometimes ate six pieces of sliced white toast in a row, each one slathered in butter or jam. I remember the spongy texture of the bread as I took it from its plastic bag. No matter how much of this supermarket toast I ate, I hardly felt sated. It was like eating without really eating. Other days, I would buy a box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes or a tube of Pringles: sour cream and onion flavour stackable snack chips, which were an exciting novelty at the time, having only arrived in the UK in 1991. Although the carton was big enough to feed a crowd, I could demolish most of it by myself in a sitting. Each chip, with its salty and powdery sour cream coating, sent me back for another one. I loved the way the chips - curved like roof tiles - would dissolve slightly on my tongue.
Read more

STRiDE Guide Jamaica - Dementia Updates

In this issue:
  • STRiDE JA Meets With the Ministry of Health and Wellness
  • STRiDE Hosts Meeting of Leads for Research Engagement & Impact
  • STRiDE JA Hosts its 3rd National Advisory Group Meeting
  • STRiDE JA Partners with The Kiwanis Foundation of Jamaica for Disability Day 2020
  • Share your thoughts, experiences and attitudes about dementia!
Read more

Childhood Obesity Prevention Infographics

Childhood Obesity Prevention Infographics
HCC has developed an additional tools for advocates of Childhood Obesity Prevention, another set of infographics, highlighting childhood obesity, the risks and the HCC policy asks.
Read more

Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies

Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
We have created social media graphics to campaign for the implementation of our Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies. The graphics can be downloaded here.

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.
NCD Alliance


In this edition:
  • 3rd Global NCD Alliance Forum comes to a close: check out the highlights!
  • NCDA resources highlight civil society actions to close the gaps in the NCD response
  • Monitor national and regional NCD responses with the NCDA Accountability Toolkit
  • Get inspired by NCD civil society actions in the NCD Atlas
  • New BBC StoryWorks produced short NCD documentary series
  • Obesity: time for global action
  • Clinical Associates - Primary Care International
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
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard

Key Messages From Our Publications

Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean

The consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) is one of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic among adults and children. In the Caribbean on average data shows that 1 in 3 children is overweight or obese. The sugar content of one serving of many popular carbonated beverages and juices far exceeds the entire daily healthy maximum sugar intake for adults and children as recommended by the WHO and the American Heart Association (AHA).
How Much Sugar is in Your Beverage? Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean
Read more
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
Forthcoming Events

Faces of Cancer St. Lucia Calendar of Events 2020

Faces of Cancer St Lucia
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.

To join the HCC email us at
The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
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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.
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