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September 8th

Featured

Time to Act on NCDs, Time to Act on Childhood Obesity

Time to Act on NCDs, Time to Act on Childhood Obesity
The NCD Alliance’s annual Global Week for Action on NCDs campaign takes place this week, 7 – 13 September 2020.
 
The Coronavirus pandemic has revealed the collective failure of our governments to address chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity. The disproportionate vulnerability of people living with NCDs and obesity to COVID-19 has left huge portions of our populations susceptible to severe disease and mortality.

The HCC and our partners have been calling on CARICOM to prioritise childhood prevention policies since 2017, but now more than ever, COVID-19 has shown us that the Time to Act on NCDs and Childhood Obesity is now. Childhood obesity is an emerging crisis globally and in the Caribbean where 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese. These staggering numbers threaten to undermine the health of entire generations if bold policy and legislative actions are not taken now to create environments supportive of healthier, happier children and adolescents.

Children have a right to access healthy nutritious food and Caribbean Governments have committed to policies to tackle childhood obesity. We applaud efforts made thus far but we are calling on our CARICOM Heads of Government and State to fulfil their commitments - Now is the time to Act on NCDs!

At various high-level meetings, CARICOM Governments:
  • Pledged to address advertising of potentially harmful foods & elevating taxes on sugar, salt and transfats (2016)
  • Highlighted the grave concern of obesity in primary and secondary school children (2017)
  • Endorsed UN High Level NCDs priorities including front of package labelling (2018)
In 2019, HCC issued a Call to Urgent Action to implement 3 priority nutrition policies. Almost one year later and our asks remain the same. Much more work needs to be done and we are calling on CARICOM Political Leadership again to implement key nutrition policies:
  1. MANDATORY ‘HIGH IN’ FRONT OF PACKAGE NUTRITION WARNING LABELLING
  2. BANNING THE SALE AND MARKETING OF SWEET BEVERAGES AND UNHEALTHY FOODS IN SCHOOL SETTINGS
  3. TAXATION OF SWEET BEVERAGES AT A RATE OF AT LEAST 20%
Below are our supporting visuals for social media and more:

#ActOnNCDs #healthycaribbean #beatchildhoodobesity

(Click/tap to enlarge the images)
#beatchildhoodobesity
#beatchildhoodobesity
#beatchildhoodobesity
#beatchildhoodobesity
#beatchildhoodobesity
#beatchildhoodobesity
#beatchildhoodobesity
Download the full package of visuals: Facebook and Instagram

We are calling on our CARICOM Heads of government to fulfil their commitments, now is the time to act on NCDs! (Click/tap to enlarge the images)
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Now is the time to act on NCDs!
Download the full package of visuals here.
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Time to Act on NCDs - CSO's Speak Out

Click/tap to enlarge the quotes below
CSO's Speak Out
CSO's Speak Out
CSO's Speak Out
CSO's Speak Out
CSO's Speak Out

Caribbean Wellness Day September 12th, 2020

Caribbean Wellness Day September 12th, 2020
Please send in any details of events taking place to support Caribbean Wellness Day 2020
email:hcc@healthycaribbean.org

World Suicide Prevention Day September 10th, 2020

World Suicide Prevention Day 2020
Photo: PAHO/Shutterstock
PAHO: World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed annually on September 10th, with the objective of raising awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. The theme of “working together to prevent suicide” continues this year. 

For 2020, PAHO is organizing two Facebook Live sessions (one in English, one in Spanish) on the topic of how people can work together to prevent suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic, to be held on Thursday, September 10th, at 11:00am (English) and 1:00pm (Spanish). Each session will feature three speakers with experience in the area of suicide prevention, from the Pan American Health Organization, academia and NGO’s. to join at the time of the event, go to the PAHO/WHO Facebook page at @PAHOWHO (If you don´t have a Facebook account, you can also follow it on Youtube at the PAHOTV channel

A  presentation on suicide prevention in the Americas during COVID-19, with updated data and resources, and which integrates COVID-19 can be viewed here.
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If you would like to respond to, or comment on any of the articles featured in our weekly news roundup please email editor@healthycaribbean.org

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Experts Warn COVID-19 Could Trigger a Spike in Life-Threatening NCDs

Sir Trevor Hassell
Sir Trevor Hassell, HCC President
Photo: Barbados Today
Barbados Today: The dreaded COVID-19 pandemic is not only creating a headache for businesses, but health officials are also raising an alarm that it has been resulting in weight gain for a wide cross section of the Caribbean population.

In fact, with no indication as to when the pandemic would end, President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) Professor Sir Trevor Hassell suggested that the pandemic could result in an increase in deaths associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) if urgent steps are not taken to reverse the trend.

“The reality is that the pandemic is likely to exacerbate an already urgent situation in the Caribbean region where one in three children is obese or overweight and up to two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese,” he said.

Sir Trevor was addressing the opening of a recent virtual roundtable discussion on the topic Weighing the impact of COVID-19: Nutrition, Overweight, Obesity and NCDs.
Read more
COVID-19 Comms Resources
HCC COVID-19 Webpage
The Lancet

COVID-19: A New Lens for Non-Communicable Diseases

On Sept 19, 2011, global leaders met at the UN in New York, USA, to set an international agenda on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which cause three-quarters of global deaths. This was only the second time in history that the UN General Assembly had met to discuss a health issue (the first was for HIV/AIDS in 2016). In 2015, Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 set the ambitious target for countries to reduce their risk of premature mortality from NCDs by a third relative to 2015 levels by 2030.

The Lancet NCD Countdown 2030, published on Sept 3, reveals that, among high-income countries, only Denmark, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and South Korea are on track to meet this target for both men and women if they maintain or surpass their 2010–16 average rates of decline. We know how to reduce the risk of NCDs—for the most part through a combination of effective tobacco and alcohol control, and well understood health interventions for hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. But addressing the broader determinants of NCDs is difficult without more robust fiscal measures. Although NCDs have received plenty of political attention, action has clearly been inadequate.
Read more
Backyard Gardening
Our Voices PLWNCDs during COVID-19
Lets Get Active
Caribbean Health Heroes
Stay Active

Responding to Non-Communicable Diseases During and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

Responding to Non-Communicable Diseases During and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic
United Nations Development Programme: This brief provides guidance for governments, policymakers, UN agencies and development partners to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as an integral part of the COVID-19 response and in broader efforts for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The brief was developed by UNDP and WHO in partnership with the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs.
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Special Grants Call: COVID-19

NOW OPEN
Commonwealth Foundation
Commonwealth Foundation
The Commonwealth Foundation’s Grants Programme supports innovative project ideas and approaches that seek to strengthen the ability of civic voices to engage with governments to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation. In lieu of our annual grants call, we are launching a special grants call in response to the COVID–19 pandemic.

The purpose of the special grants call is to enable the Foundation to deliver support to Commonwealth civil society organisations in response to COVID-19 quickly, efficiently and in a way that both reflects and advances our broader mission. To that end, the focus will be on supporting national initiatives that aim to engage constructively with government in strengthening relevant institutions, policies and practices as communities and countries seek to recover and rebuild.
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Specialized Course on Food Security at the Time of COVID-19

(26 - 30 October 2020)
Specialized Course on Food Security at the Time of COVID-19
Photo: UNICRI
The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with John Cabot University (JCU), is organizing the second edition of the Specialized Course on Food and Nutrition Security at the time of COVID-19, which will be delivered online, from 26 to 30 October 2020.

The Specialized Course will provide participants with a fundamental understanding of main determinants and issues connected to food security, among which:
  • Towards the multidimensional definition of food security
  • The UN strategy for Goal 2 “Zero Hunger” (SDGs)
  • Legal tools on right to food, food safety and security
  • Pandemic outbreaks and impact on food safety and security 
  • COVID-19, conflicts, migration and food insecurity
  • Food industry and food fraud: counterfeiting and adulteration 
  • Migration and food insecurity
  • Innovation for the future: blockchain for Zero Hunger
Read more

News

New Report Which Exposes Growing Influence of the Alcohol Industry in the Latin America and Caribbean Region

New Report Exposes Growing Influence of the Alcohol Industry in the Latin America and Caribbean Region
NCD Alliance: Alcohol industry also proactively leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic under the guise of Corporate Social Responsibility

The rapidly growing disabilities and death arising from the harmful use of alcohol in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LAC) is a direct result of  a series of deliberate tactics by the alcohol industry to influence and undermine government policy aimed at regulating the marketing, advertising and sale of alcohol at safe levels a new report has revealed.

The Alcohol industry´s Commercial and political Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean: Implications for Public Health was released on August 27, 2020 by four civil society organisations working in the noncommunicable disease sector: the NCD Alliance (NCDA), the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA), the Healthy Latin America Coalition (CLAS), and the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC).
New Report Exposes Growing Influence of the Alcohol Industry in the Latin America and Caribbean Region
The  report describes the role of the alcohol  industry in influencing regional policies that affect public health and social welfare, using tactics that resemble those of other unhealthy commodity industries such as ultra-processed food, sugar-sweetened beverage, and tobacco, which are far more frequently exposed and challenged in LAC.

"This report  shows how the alcohol industry works in tandem to oppose effective alcohol policies and actively engage in strategic practices that compromise public health in the region",
said Professor Thomas Babor of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and a lead author. It provides evidence and analysis of how health policy is undermined by vested interests, most recently in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Read more

World ‘Falling Behind’ on Goal to Cut Chronic Disease Deaths

World ‘Falling Behind’ on Goal to Cut Chronic Disease Deaths
Photo: Pixabay
Jamaica Observer: Only six high-income countries are doing enough to tackle deaths from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, a global report said, warning the novel coronavirus pandemic exposes the urgent need to combat underlying conditions.

In its stocktake of global efforts to stop people dying prematurely from largely preventable and treatable noncommunicable diseases, the report, by groups including the World Health Organization, said many countries were falling short.

Among high-income countries, only Denmark, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and South Korea are on track to meet the goal of reducing mortality for both women and men by one third by 2030, said the study, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet.

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) currently kill over 40 million people a year worldwide, making up seven out of 10 deaths globally, the report said.
Read more

Gout Drug Repurposed to Fight Heart Disease

Gout Drug Repurposed to Fight Heart Disease
Photo: Pixabay
The European Society of Cardiology: Colchicine reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with chronic coronary disease, according to results of the LoDoCo2 trial presented in a Hot Line session today at ESC Congress 2020.

“Over a decade, more than one in three heart patients will have another heart attack or stroke, or die from heart disease, despite taking preventive medication,” said study author Dr. Mark Nidorf of GenesisCare, Australia. “Our study shows that this could be reduced to one in four with the addition of low-dose colchicine.”

Colchicine, originally derived from the bulb of the crocus plant, has been used since ancient times to treat inflammation. Now synthetically made, it is a generic medication taken to treat gout. The drug also inhibits several inflammatory pathways known to be important in atherosclerosis. The LoDoCo (Low Dose Colchicine) pilot trial suggested that colchicine 0.5 mg once daily was safe and effective for preventing cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease.
Read more

Body Mass Index Is a More Powerful Risk Factor for Diabetes Than Genetics

Body Mass Index Is a More Powerful Risk Factor for Diabetes Than Genetics
Photo: Pixabay
Science Daily: Losing weight could prevent or even reverse diabetes, according to late breaking research presented at the ESC Congress 2020.

In 2019, approximately 463 million people worldwide had diabetes, of which the vast majority (around 90%) was type 2 diabetes. Diabetes doubles the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease. Obesity is the main modifiable cause of type 2 diabetes, while genetic make-up may also identify individuals with a greater likelihood of developing the condition.

"Because we are born with our genes, it might be possible to pinpoint early in life who has a high chance of developing diabetes during their lifetime," said principal investigator Professor Brian Ference of the University of Cambridge, UK, and University of Milan, Italy. "We conducted this study to find out if combining inherited risk with current body mass index (BMI) could identify people at the highest risk of developing diabetes. Prevention efforts could then concentrate on these individuals."
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State of UHC Commitment Survey 2020

State of UHC Commitment Survey 2020
International Health Partnership: UHC2030 is currently collecting stories and evidence on how people access and experience health care services in their communities.
 
Many countries are taking real and measurable steps forward to achieve UHC. To better understand these global and country commitments, we’re producing a multi-stakeholder review called the ‘State of UHC Commitment’ with hard data about how governments are delivering on their commitment to UHC.
Read more

Regional Call for Proposals in Latin America and the Caribbean: Generating and Mobilizing Innovative Knowledge for Regional Education Challenges

Regional Call for Proposals in Latin America and the Caribbean
Image: IDRC/CRDI
IDRC/CRDI: This call is open to individual Southern organizations or consortia of up to three organizations based in the region. The applicant organization/lead institution must have legal corporate registration and the capacity to administer foreign funds.
Read more
If you would like to respond to, or comment on any of the articles featured in our weekly news roundup please email editor@healthycaribbean.org

NCD Alliance Newsletter

NCD Alliance
  • How will you Act on NCDs? Join the Global Week for Action on NCDs!
  • Save the date for NCDA's virtual dialogue on social impact
  • NCD Academy: new course on COVID-19 and NCDs 
  • New report by Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission
  • WSO-WHF joint statement on population-based interventions
  • Healthy Food Policy Legal Defense Fund (LDF) launched
  • Mexico's junk food ban expands to Tabasco
Read more

Key Messages From Our Publications

Call to Urgent Action
Read more

Our Work

MHCS

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

Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean

Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean
Social media graphics to campaign for the implementation of our Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies
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.
Read more
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard

Childhood Obesity Prevention Visuals

A set of infographics, highlighting childhood obesity, the risks and the HCC policy asks.
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Childhood Obesity Prevention Visuals
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Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Read more
Our Publications
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
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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.
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