The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

February 10th - February 19th 2017


Civil Society, Government and the Private Sector Come Together to Discuss Advocacy, Accountability and Conflict of Interest in the Caribbean

On Friday Feb 17, over 50 stakeholders met in Antigua and Barbuda for a one and a half day meeting to discuss NCD Advocacy, Accountability and conflict of Interest in the Caribbean. The meeting hosted by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition in partnership with the Antigua & Barbuda Ministry of Health and the Environment, had participants hailing from 11 Caribbean territories and representing all sectors of society including NCD NGOs, non health NGOs, medical associations, service clubs, private sector, academia, governments, and regional public health institutions. National and regional partners and supporters included: the Antigua & Barbuda Diabetes Association; the Antigua & Barbuda Medical Association; the American University of Antigua; the Peter Moores Foundation; the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies; CARPHA; and PAHO/WHO. The meeting was supported by the NCD Alliance as part of the Expanding Access to Care, Supporting Global, regional and Country level NCD Action Programme in partnership with Medtronic Philanthropy.

The goal of the meeting was to build civil society capacity around NCD advocacy, accountability and conflict of interest. Speakers included the Hon Minister of Health Joseph Molwyn; Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus of PAHO and Patron of HCC; Dr. James Hospedales, Executive Director of PAHO; and Professor Jeff Collin, Professor of Global Health Policy, University of Edinburgh. The HCC was also pleased to have present Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister in the Guyana Ministry of Public Health.

Significant outputs of the meeting included: sharing of experiences around advocacy, accountability and COI in the region from the perspective of various stakeholders; review of a draft CSO Simple Monitoring Scorecard for Childhood Obesity; review of a draft Regional CSO Advocacy campaign to ban sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) in schools; development of a concept for an HCC COI Policy; and the launch of the HCC Strategic Plan 2017-2021.
Honourable Molwyn Joseph. Minister of Health & The Environment Antigua & Barbuda
The HCC was honoured to have the Minister of Health of Antigua and Barbuda officially open the meeting with his inspirational words which called for 'unity of purpose, among Caribbean governments, civil society alliances such as HCC, the private sector, other non-governmental organisations, mass media and private individuals from every sector and profession in the region’ as we collectively seek to address NCDs.' He further called on civil society advocates to be 'bold and creative ... consistent and relentless’.
Minister Joseph used the occasion to announce the formation of the Antigua and Barbuda Wellness Commission.

The meeting provided a forum for CSOs to share experiences of advocacy ranging from tobacco control, engaging men around cancer prevention, SSB taxation and sharing a regional campaign for banning SSBs in schools. Accountability and it’s reality in the Caribbean for diverse stakeholders with similar experiences of resource limitations, was discussed in depth with Dr. Alafia Samuels highlighting the significant burden of reporting faced by ministries of health and CSOs sharing similar challenges as they related to the capacity and resources to play the important ‘watchdog’ role. An accountability tool for CSO monitoring of national childhood obesity policy responses was shared and reviewed. Finally, guided by Prof Jeff Collins and Dr. Derrick Aarons, delegates to the meeting explored the difficult and complex issue of conflict of interest especially within the context of small island developing states; and began the process of framing a COI policy to guide the work of the HCC as the organisation seeks to expand partnerships with a diverse and interconnected regional private sector.

Sir George Alleyne closed the meeting with his vision of the CSO movement in the Caribbean - ‘my vision is of a mighty association of Caribbean people and organisations, united in a grand design, stripped of sectoral and linguistic chains, and driven by the urgency of breaking the advance of NCDs in our space’
Sir George Alleyne closed the meeting with his vision of the CSO movement in the Caribbean
Sir George Alleyne closed the meeting with his vision of the CSO movement in the Caribbean watch here.
HCC President, Sir Trevor Hassell and Executive Director, Maisha Hutton, were extremely pleased with the meeting. ‘We are a small organisation, entering the tenth year of our formation with great ambitions and titanic dreams, and as we do so we feel so incredibly proud to see the fruits of our efforts and the depth of support we have from our partners in civil society, government and private sector across the Caribbean. We however cannot stress enough that the success of the HCC is a direct result of the work of NCD NGOs across the Caribbean and the partnerships formed with colleagues in Ministries of Health and increasingly non health ministries, PAHO, CARPHA and our many international supporters not least of which is the NCD Alliance'

For more information on the meeting including materials, presentations, photos and videos please visit our meeting webpage here

HCC Strategic Plan 2017-2021 Officially Launched

HCC Strategic Plan 2017-2021
The HCC Strategic Plan 2017 - 2021 was officially launched at the HCC Advocacy, Accountability and Conflict of Interest Meeting held in Antigua and Barbuda from Feb 17-18, 2017. 
The HCC is pleased to present its Strategic Plan 2017-2021, which underpins the work of the Coalition and shapes the contribution of civil society to non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention and control in the Caribbean over the next five years.  The Plan will guide the strategic direction of the HCC at a pivotal time in its development, as the HCC celebrates, in 2018, a momentous milestone – the 10-year anniversary of its formation. The Plan is also timely from a regional public health perspective, as the Caribbean this year marks the 10-year anniversary of the seminal Port of Spain Declaration on NCDs, providing a unique and potentially historic opportunity for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government to make bold regional and international statements, and recommit to priority action on NCD prevention and control in the region.
The Plan has five strategic pillars: accountability, advocacy, capacity development, communication, and sustainability. These five strategic pillars and their associated high level objectives which provide the basis for the development of annual operational plans with specific outputs, deliverables (products and services), activities, inputs, and resource needs, as well as a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework. 
The HCC 2017-2021 Strategic Plan charts a course for the work of the Coalition in the coming five years. The streamlining and prioritising of key actions will lay the foundation for HCC’s contribution to the region’s achievement of national, regional, and international NCD targets, reduction of inequities, and, ultimately, reduction in NCD-related premature mortality, as we navigate through the post-2015 development era.

Directors of the HCC on the occasion of the launch and release of the HCC 2017-2021 Strategic Plan pointed out that “the Plan will serve as the blueprint and instrument for continuing the process of bringing about a “wellness revolution” as called for at the first  meeting of the HCC leading to slowing of the tsunami of NCDs in the Caribbean”.

Read/Download HCC's Strategic Plan 2017-2021

New Trial to Target Preventable Deaths in the Caribbean

One Caribbean Health
Guyana: Project team members
Bridgetown, Barbados, February 17, 2017.  A study just launched will investigate ways to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which cause more than 60 per cent of deaths in the Caribbean. Researchers from King’s College London, the University of Guyana (UG), Ross University Dominica and the University of the West Indies hope a new approach – training members of religious congregations who are embedded in local communities – will increase the reach of health services and reduce deaths. Read more

Challenge to Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean gets a High-level Boost

Challenge to Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean gets a High-level Boost
The need to address a growing epidemic of childhood obesity in the Caribbean brought together a range of top regional experts, leaders and officials in Barbados recently with the aim of thrashing out a road map to respond to this epidemic and make a difference to our children’s health.

Hosted by the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and the Caribbean Community, the meeting took place on February 9-10. Key regional organisations and partners carved out roles and responsibilities under the ambitious, four-year roadmap to prevent childhood obesity. Read more

Ban Food Advertising to Children

Ban Food Advertising to Kids
FOOD is as necessary to life as water and oxygen but it has become a disease too. Bad food leads to overweight, obesity, micronutrient deficiencies, too much salt and sugar etc. It used to be that malnutrition was prevalent where food inadequacy exists. But today, malnutrition is a problem in a sea of abundance; more people suffer from malnutrition because of eating too much of the wrong food rather than malnutrition from hunger and food inadequacy. And it is killing us as more people become sick and die prematurely from the chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Insidiously, bad food is causing our children to develop risks for heart diseases, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illnesses and cancer. Our children might be the first generation that will not live as long as their parents, unless we stop the ravages of bad food. Read more

HCC Welcomes New Member BVI Diabetes Association

The BVI Diabetes Association
BVI Diabetes Association
The British Virgin Islands Diabetes Association was established in 1979, as a follow-up to a Patient Education Workshop on Diabetes, held by a team from PAHO and CAREC along with the Nutrition Department from Trinidad.

The Association is affiliated with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the North American & Caribbean Region Diabetes Association and the Diabetes Association of the Caribbean.

The BVI Diabetes Association resource center is named after founding member and Medical Advisor from its inception to her passing in 2009.  It is called the Dr. Jana Downing Diabetes Resource Center.

The BVI Diabetes Association continues to be very active, and provides the highest standard of quality care in an effort to assist persons with diabetes and the wider British Virgin Islands Community.

At the Dr. Jana Downing Diabetes Resource Center, the Association continues to provide services free of cost five days a week. Foot Care Clinics are done every Tuesdays at the resource center and home visits are done one day per week by a Foot Care Specialist. Read more

HSFB Spreading the Love with Healthy Heart Tips

Chief Executive Officer of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Fiona Anthony
By: Anesta Henry, Barbados Advocate - Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and the management of the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) showed their staff just how much they love them. The Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Fiona Anthony, led a team that visited the BL&P’s Bay Street, St Michael, headquarters and shared with employees heart stickers, fresh red apples, and lots of literature and sound advice on the importance of taking care of that important organ which is keeping them alive.

The technical staff and those working in administration were informed that taking care of the heart and preventing strokes involved keeping track of their cholesterol and blood pressure levels, while maintaining overall healthy and active lifestyles.

The Foundation currently provides Light & Power with the service of an in-house nurse, who takes care of the basic health needs of employees. In delivering brief remarks, Anthony said yesterday’s initiative, which was well received by the staff, was a continuation of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s partnership with the company, which she said is always conscious of ensuring employees’ health is a priority. Read more

Chronic Disease Crisis

Barbados Senior Medical Officer of Health (Chronic Diseases) Dr. Kenneth George
Barbados’ population is facing a crisis when it comes to the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

So says Senior Medical Officer of Health (Chronic Diseases) Dr. Kenneth George, as he spoke at the launch of the Barbados Workers’ Union ‘Healthy Living’ project at Solidarity House yesterday. This initiative provides health and lifestyle counselling for union members 65 years and over. According to him, with an estimated one third of this group suffering from some form of NCD, it is critical for people to take responsibility in reducing the risk factors which can lead to such a diagnosis. Read more

Socioeconomic Status and Risk Factors for Non-communicable Diseases in Low-income and Lower-middle-income Countries

Non-communicable disease behavioural risk factors such as tobacco smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and unhealthy eating are socially patterned in high-income countries, with individuals of low socioeconomic status generally experiencing a higher burden of risk factors. However, the direction of the association between socioeconomic status and behavioural risk factors has changed over time.

Unhealthy behaviours were more frequent in high socioeconomic groups at the beginning of the 20th century, but the burden later shifted towards the disadvantaged socioeconomic groups. This explains why non-communicable diseases have long been considered as “diseases of affluence”. A similar transition of the non-communicable disease burden from high to low socioeconomic groups over time has also been documented in several middle-income countries. Read more
FCTC Call for interest
HCC Urges Eligible Caribbean Countries to apply
FCTC 2030 - Strengthening WHO FCTC implementation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Consistent with decisions made by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the Convention Secretariat has initiated a new project to assist Parties to strengthen implementation of the treaty.

The importance of tobacco control in promoting development is recognised in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including specific reference to WHO FCTC implementation in target 3.a. Given the impact of tobacco on development, the implementation of the Convention will play an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The FCTC 2030 project aims to support Parties to the WHO FCTC that are eligible to receive official development assistance (ODA) to achieve the SDGs by advancing implementation of the Convention. The project will run from April 2017 until March 2021.

Read more and apply here.

2017 Student Research Paper Contest

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) announces its 2017 Student Research Paper Contest. PCD is looking for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, medical residency and recent post-doctoral fellows to submit papers relevant to the prevention, screening, surveillance, and/or population-based intervention of chronic diseases, including but not limited to arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

PCD is a peer-reviewed electronic journal established to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners in chronic disease prevention and health promotion. The journal is published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Read more

International Women in Wellness Conference 2017

Yes She Can
Register here.

Funding and Training Opportunities

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R01) Research Project Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R21) Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Implementation Science for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders in Low- and Middle-income Countries (U01) Research Project – Cooperative Agreements. Open date: March 7, 2017

Call for mental health research proposals. The deadline for applications will be 11 April 2017, 4.00pm BST (3.00pm UTC)
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados
How Was Your Valentines' Day?
Ours was... well.... 

BiBi's Snacks
Good Attempt...

Love Beyond The Incident

Read more here
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • CSW61 Side Event: Healthy Women, Healthy Livelihoods
  • NCDA February webinar: Video & slides available online 
  • Spyware and threats to health campaigners in Mexico
  • Handbook of CSO case studies on NCD prevention & control 
  • Turning the tide on obesity and unhealthy diets in Europe
  • 2017 International Conference on Urban Health 
  • IDF Congress 2017: Abstract submission is open 
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 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.

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The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
Sagicor Life Inc.
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