The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

June 3rd - June 9th 2017


Tobacco Control:  A Regional Priority

The exposure of Caribbean people to tobacco smoke either directly or indirectly represents an ongoing source of public health concern as tobacco use is a leading risk factor for the NCDs which account for significant ill-health and death in the Region. All CARICOM countries save Haiti have ratified the FCTC, the WHO’s first international  public health treaty, but very few have implemented the provisions of the treaty.

There is need for action to be taken by CARICOM countries to address this major public health issue of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. One of the internationally recognised tools endorsed by the HCC for addressing the issue of tobacco control is MPOWER [shown above], a tool produced by the WHO which details a comprehensive approach to tobacco control even as demand reduction legislation is enacted  in CARICOM countries in keeping with the provisions of the FCTC.
HCC will be scaling up it's efforts in this area through the American Cancer Society’s global Prevent20 campaign aimed at engaging cancer societies around tobacco taxation.
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Government of Guyana to Ban Public Smoking

Ian Woosnam
…smokers to face $20,000 (Approx: $100 USD) fine each time caught

Government’s Tobacco Control Bill 2017, reportedly aimed at preventing public exposure to second-hand smoking, has finally been made public after prolonged national waiting; and it has since been published in the Official Gazette.

It generally provides that public smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products, such as cigars, is prohibited by law; and a monetary deterrent is applicable in this respect.

Persons caught breaking this law for the first time are liable to be fined $10,000 on summary conviction, but each subsequent conviction attracts a penalty of $20,000.
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5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health

5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health
The 5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health, which will take place on June 13-16, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay. Registration and hotel information can be found at The conference will have simultaneous English-Spanish translation.

The Caribbean Region has been invited to contribute to this important annual Latin American and Caribbean Conference and Alafia Samuels, Barbados, Sheryl Dennis, Jamaica and Samuel Gabriel, Trinidad and Tobago will be presenting whilst Deborah Chen, Jamaica will chair sessions of the conference.
The 5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference Tobacco or Health Denounces Flavored Tobacco Products and calls on governments to ban flavored tobacco products and their associated advertising and promotion, please see the declaration here, it can be signed to show your support and returned to
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2018 UNHLM CARICOM Minister of Health Calls on UN to Walk the Talk

Suriname Minister of Health Patrick Pengel has called for the UNHLM in 2018 to show that MS are serious about tackling addressing NCDs saying:
Suriname Minister of Health Patrick Pengel
'HLM should not only become a moment when countries are reminded how serious the NCD problem is, but understand that it’s time for action. This can be shown when words are less heard and actions more seen, when for example the compound where the HLM is held, is 100% smoke free, not just the buildings; or alcohol free events during the meetings, just to name 2 actions.'
'When we do that, not only delegates but the world will understand that we are serious when talking about NCD related risk factors. We believe that both actions taken by the WHO will encourage member states to follow.'

NCD Alliance Annual Report

NCD Alliance Annual Report
The NCD Alliance has released their annual report for 2016. Reflecting carefully on progress made and lessons learned, making NCDs a priority everywhere. The 2016 annual report provides a snapshot of the activities and achievements of the NCD Alliance, their network, supporters, partners, volunteers and staff.

It serves as a testament and heartfelt thank you as we all move closer towards meeting our common goal: to reduce the NCD burden for people everywhere.
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Toronto Global Cancer Control Conference Travel Awards

Toronto Global Cancer Control Conference Travel Awards
As part of HCC’s ongoing effort to add value to its member organisations we are alerting you to the opportunity for travel awards for the Global Cancer Control Conference in Toronto, Canada taking place March 1-3, 2018.

Contact us at, if there are any suitable persons in your organisation that you would wish the HCC to support and submit for the awarding of a travel grant. Application Deadline:  June 30, 2017.

The Global Cancer Control Conference 2018 is offering travel funds for those from participants from LMIC and includes masters and doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, residents, fellows, medical students, and young leaders under the age of 40.

We encourage networking and exchange of ideas among emerging scholars working within all aspects cancer control.  In particular, we would like to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and cross-disciplinary exposure of research in cancer care.
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No Other Product that can Cause Such Harm is as Promoted and Advertised in the World 

The Irish Government has urged its European counterparts to ban alcohol advertising, telling a seminar in Brussels that children must be protected from an industry whose “primary interest is growing its markets and maximising profits”.

In a criticism of the alcohol industry, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State at the Department of Health, said alcohol was a “prominent factor in cases of crime, suicide, and mental illness”. 

She said Ireland had a particularly “devastating” relationship with alcohol and that “no other product that can cause such harm is as promoted and advertised in the world”.

“Neither can we allow the alcohol industry to write the law that governs alcohol marketing and advertising in Europe, ” she said.
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PAHO Director Meets with CARICOM Health Ministers

Dr Joy St John
Geneva, 24 May 2017 (PAHO/WHO) - The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne, met this afternoon with the Ministers of Health of the CARICOM, with the aim of studying a variety of subjects related to the organization and to its constituent countries.

At the meeting, various subjects related to the joint effort among the countries of the Caribbean and PAHO were addressed. The exchange focused on policies and actions to tackle communicable diseases, vector control and new technologies, the creation of information systems for health in the Caribbean, the Global Health Security Agenda, the certification of elimination HIV and syphilis mother to child transmission; capacity building on global health diplomacy; and the Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas 2030.
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Barbados Minister of Health, John Boyce, Addresses Delegations to the 70th World Health Assembly   

Barbados Minister of Health, John Boyce, addresses delegations to the 70th World Health Assembly on 24 May 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Farewell to Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO

Statement by H.E. Patrick Pengel, Minister of Health, Suriname on Behalf of the Region of the Americas.

Supporting the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk

Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations
At the recent UN’s Ocean Conference held on 4 June 2017, The World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (WFF) and World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) released a Statement on the SDGs calling on UN member-states to work with the small-scale fisher peoples movements towards the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries.

Small island developing states (SIDS) such as those found in the Caribbean, are experiencing NCD epidemics largely driven by broken food systems in which local markets are flooded by highly processed cheap foods while farmers and fisherfolk struggle with declining consumption of indigenous foods including local fish. HCC supports the implementation of the SSF- guidelines and we support efforts of The Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations in this regard.

Ambitious, SMART Commitments to Address NCDs, Overweight and Obesity

Make the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition count for all forms of malnutrition
A third of the world’s population are affected by one or multiple forms of malnutrition (overweight & obesity and undernutrition): 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, while 800 million people remain chronically undernourished. The global economic impact of obesity is estimated at $2 trillion a year.

More policy action to tackle malnutrition in all its forms is urgently needed if governments are to reach the global targets of the World Health Organization (WHO) on nutrition and non-communicable diseases by 2025, and the nutrition-related targets of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
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One-month Sugar Detox: A Nutritionist Explains How and Why

Sugar Detox
If you've read about the latest wellness trends, you may have entertained the idea of a diet detox. But whether you've considered juicing, fasting or cleansing in an effort to lose weight or improve your well-being, you're probably aware that drastically cutting out foods is not effective as a long-term lifestyle approach to healthy eating. In fact, strict detoxing can cause issues including fatigue, dizziness and low blood sugar. 

But there is one kind of sustainable detox that is worthwhile, according to some experts. Reducing sugar in your diet can help you drop pounds, improve your health and even give you more radiant skin. 
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Ministers of Health of the Commonwealth Countries Discuss Sustainable Funding for Universal Access to Health         

Geneva, 21 May 2017 (PAHO/WHO) – Ministers of Health of the Commonwealth countries examined a variety of options for achieving sustainable funding of universal access to health, and discussed how health security is affected by funding issues and by violence, including domestic violence.

Also discussed at this annual meeting of the Commonwealth’s health authorities was the need to address noncommunicable diseases in the framework of universal access to health, a point raised by the Caribbean countries.

The meeting’s Chair, Cyprus’s Minister of Health, George Pamboridis, opened the meeting by stating that sustainable funding for universal health is essential to health security and to reducing violence. He urged the countries of the bloc to share success stories and to work together in seeking solutions.
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ECHORN/Yale-TCC New Research Projects

ECHORN Yale Summit
In the last two editions of the HCC RoundUp, we described The Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN) and its latest project: the Yale Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities focused on Precision Medicine (Yale-TCC). This is a research collaboration between the Yale School of Medicine, University of the West Indies, University of the Virgin Islands, University of Puerto Rico and regional stakeholders focused on reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases among Caribbean-descent populations.  

There are several new and exciting research initiatives being launched by ECHORN this year. First, the ECHORN Cohort Study (ECS) will launch its Wave 2 follow up in the late summer of 2017. Through Wave 2 of the ECS, ECHORN will support two exciting precision medicine research projects.
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Countries of the Americas Show Benefits of Initiative to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Through the Control of Hypertension         

Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Through the Control of Hypertension  
On World Hypertension Day, PAHO reminded people of the importance of keeping blood pressure under control and below 140/90.

Four countries in the Americas have successfully implemented interventions to reduce patients' cardiovascular risk, which consist of providing comprehensive care and follow-up for those suffering from hypertension. The initial results show an improvement in the percentage of patients who keep their blood pressure under control in the clinics where this program was applied.

The initiative was launched in Barbados, Chile, Colombia and Cuba with the support of the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Related: Regional Seminar on the Implementation of the Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Project in the Americas          

Cancer Support Services Recent Events

Hymns My Mother Taught Me 2017
Hymns My Mother Taught Me
Hymns My Mother Taught Me, now in its 4th year, was held on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 14, 2017 at the First Baptist Church, Constitution Road.
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Palliative Care Support Programme
As the relationship between Cancer Support Services and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital continues to grow from strength to strength with specific emphasis on Ward C12, the Charity provided a Palliative Care Support Programme for the Nurses of Ward C12 between August and October 2016.
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Family Fun Day & Health Expo

Sunday June 25, 2pm - 6pm, Colibiri Centre of Light, Santa Cruz, Trinidad.

Family Nature Walk, Family yoga & relax, Family Dance & Exercise Session, Kid’s play village, NAMDEVCO booth, Kids Planting booth, FREE Diabetes Screening, H.E.R.O.E.S massage therapy.

FREE Lecture Series: healthy lunch kit prep, how reduce sugar intake; diabetes prevention; benefits of Moringa; Learn to make your own body scrub.
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Cancer Blood Test 'Could Save Thousands of Lives'

Cancer Cells
A blood test that accurately detects several different types of cancer years before symptoms appear could revolutionise treatment for the disease, scientists have said.

Researchers hope the straightforward procedure could form part of routine health checkups, replacing the often invasive and painful biopsies commonly used to diagnose cancer.

Thousands of deaths per year could potentially be saved if the tests catch tumours at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to be effective.
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Scientists' Study Sweetens Connection Between Cancer, Sugar

Scientists' Study Sweetens Connection Between Cancer, Sugar
In a new study, scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas have found that some types of cancers have more of a sweet tooth than others.

“It has been suspected that many cancer cells are heavily dependent on sugar as their energy supply, but it turns out that one specific type - squamous cell carcinoma - is remarkably more dependent,” said Dr. Jung-whan “Jay” Kim, assistant professor of biological sciences in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and senior author of the study published online May 26 in the journal Nature Communications.
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Cancer Drug Proves to Be Effective Against Multiple Tumors

The 86 cancer patients were a disparate group, with tumors of the pancreas, prostate, uterus or bone. One woman had a cancer so rare there were no tested treatments. She was told to get her affairs in order. Still, these patients had a few things in common. All had advanced disease that had resisted every standard treatment. All carried genetic mutations that disrupted the ability of cells to fix damaged DNA. And all were enrolled in a trial of a drug that helps the immune system attack tumors.
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HCC Publications

A Spoonful of Sugar – The “Not So Sweet” Truth About Barbados’ Breakfast Cereals
A Spoonful of Sugar – The “Not So Sweet” Truth About Barbados’ Breakfast Cereals 
Sugar in the Caribbean Infographics
Sugar in the Caribbean

See All HCC Publications

Research Fellow in Food Policy

Research Fellow
Closing Date: Wednesday 14 June 2017
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are seeking to recruit a Research Fellow to work on the “Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS)” programme funded by the Wellcome Trust. The overarching objective of SHEFS is to provide policy makers with novel, interdisciplinary research evidence to define future food systems policies that deliver nutritious and healthy foods in a sustainable and equitable manner.
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Cancer Support Services 6th Annual Conference

Registration closes Wednesday June 14.
CSS 6th Annual Conference
Cancer Support Services will host its 6th Annual Conference “It’s Not a Sprint, It’s a Marathon” on Saturday June 24, 2017 at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa, Rockley, Christ Church from 8:30am with speakers from 21st Century Oncology in Miami, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, St. Lucia and Barbados.
The conference is open to Physicians, Nurses, Care-givers, Bereavement Support Groups, other NGOs, Patients and all interested persons.
Credits are available for Health Professionals.
Registration and all payment of fees closes on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
No payment of fees will be accepted on the day of the conference. 
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Caribbean Cardiac Society - 32nd Caribbean Cardiology Conference - Early-Bird Registration Open

Caribbean Cardiac Society
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AC3 Conference 2017

AC3 Conference 2017
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WHO Global Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases

Enhancing policy coherence between different spheres of policy making that have a bearing on attaining SDG target 3.4 on NCDs by 2030. 
Montevideo, Uruguay, 18-20 October 2017
WHO Global Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases
World Health Organization (WHO) is organizing the Global Conference on Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs): Enhancing policy coherence between different spheres of policy making that have a bearing on attaining SDG target 3.4 on NCDs to, by 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment. The Conference is hosted by the President of Uruguay from 18 to 20 October 2017 in Montevideo. 
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NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Fostering the next generation of health workers 
  • Slides and recording of our June webinar are online 
  • Highlights of NCDA's 2016 Annual Report 
  • SMART commitments to address overweight & obesity
  • Addressing NCDs: Psoriasis and its Co-morbidities
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NCD Alliance NCD Digest

NCDs News Risk Factors News
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HCC News Roundup Archive - If you have missed any of our News Roundups you can view previous Roundups on our News Roundup Archive webpage here.
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
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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