The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

June 19th - June 25th 2015


HCC Urges Heads of Government of CARICOM to Prioritise NCDs

Heads of Government of CARICOM
Heads of Government from 21 CARICOM nations descended on Barbados from July 2-4, 2015 for the 36th Regular Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  The HCC used the opportunity to advocate for a stronger regional and national NCD agenda. Each Head was presented with the HCC/NCDA 2014 seminal report entitled: ‘Civil Society Regional Status Report: Response to NCDs in the Caribbean Community’; and a letter from the HCC highlighting key focus areas for NCD action in the region. See below for an excerpt from the letter.
The meeting of Heads of State in 2007 was a defining moment not only in the Caribbean but globally, singularly heralding a new era of high-level political commitment to addressing the NCD epidemic and challenging leadership from across this planet to acknowledge the gravity of the impending health crisis.  Since 2007 there have been many successes including the 2011 UNHLM on NCDs; its successor the UNHLM on NCDs in 2014; and the increasing prioritisation of the NCD issue in this region in such fora as the annual SIDS conferences; CARPHA and PAHO regional NCD related meetings; multi-stakeholders meetings of the HCC; and most recently the June 2015 PAHO NCD Leadership Think Tank meeting ‘Forum of Key Stakeholders on NCDs: Advancing the NCD Agenda in the Caribbean’.

Civil society has played a critical role in shaping the regional response to chronic diseases at all levels including: the generation of evidence to catalyse advocacy and action; driving informed social mobilisation around key issues using electronic and mobile media; engaging public and private health sectors around priority areas for NCD prevention and control through a health systems approach in which all stakeholders work in partnership; and through targeted advocacy aimed at high-level decision makers and policy makers. 

There have been notable recent successes, driven in part by civil society advocacy, including the passage of tobacco control legislation in Jamaica and the recently announced 10% excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages in Barbados. 

As we approach the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September 2015, we urge you, the regional leadership, to once again make our presence known in solidarity with the global community as we pledge our commitment to the sustainable development goals in which are embedded health goals which speak to the NCD epidemic. 

The HCC thanks you once again for the continued leadership and we stand poised to provide any support to you, Heads of Government, as you continue to strengthen our regional and national NCD prevention and control programmes.  
Click here for the full letter

Tackling Hypertension - Building Social Marketing Capacity around Salt Reduction

A Social Marketing Training on Building Capacity for Dietary Sodium Reduction was conducted this past week from July 7-8, 2015, in Barbados.  The workshop was led by PAHO/HCC and the University of Southern Florida (USF) (USF is a WHO Collaborating Centre on Social Marketing and Social Change). Country teams from Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica and St. Vincent & the Grenadines are benefiting from this 5-month long process aimed at building social marketing capacity. This 2-day planning workshop is the second component of the overall process. It follows an intensive 5 week online training course using the PAHO virtual campus. The teams will now spend the next few months working on data collection and concept testing with hands on support from USF. This will be followed by a Strategy Formation workshop in September leading to the development of tailored country based Marketing plans.

The USF team consists of: Dr. Carol Bryant, Dr. Linda Whiteford, Jim Lindenberger, Mahmooda Khaliq Pasha, Robin Mowson and Dana Ketcher. The team from PAHO consists of Dr. Branka Legatic and Dr. Tomo Kanda. 

The country team representatives present at the workshop were:

Antigua; Juanita James, Lorren Davis, Almarie Robert-Coates.
Barbados: Denise Carter Taylor, Lisa Bayley, Sheena Edwards.
Jamaica: Rosemarie Wright-Pascoe, Rainford Wilks, Camelia Thompson. 
St. Vincent & Grenadines: Patsy Wyllie, Wendy Michael, Beverly Liverpool.

To see photos from the meeting click here.


Time for Global Action 2015

Transforming Our World by 2030: A New Agenda For Global Action

On 25 to 27 September 2015 Heads of State will come together in New York for a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations to adopt the post-2015 development agenda.  The elements of post-2015 will include a Declaration; Sustainable Development Goals and targets; Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development; and follow-up and review. These can be found in the Zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda currently under review through a series of Intergovernmental negotiations (IGN).

As we lead up to the UN Summit in September, the HCC will be seeking to build regional awareness, buy-in and commitment to supporting the post 2015 development agenda at all levels, from individuals to organisations including civil society, private sector and governments. Every week will be sharing elements of the outcome document (currently zero draft under review through IGN) during our weekly roundup. See this week’s excerpt below 
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
*Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
For more on the post 2015 development process click here
To see the full Zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda click here
For more information on the post 2015 development agenda visit the NCD Alliance here
For more information on Advocacy on NCDs and the post 2015 development agenda check out the NCD Alliance Toolkit here
For more information on the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda click here

The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society is celebrating 10 years of hosting the Family Day Fundraiser

This year the TTCS has lots of exciting games, fantastic prizes,great deals on our various stalls with delicious food catered by Boomerangs.

All taking place on Sunday 26th July at the Siegert Square 11am
  • Games include: Hoopla, Bingo, Dunk Tank, Inflatable Rock Wall, Minute to Win It games, Lucky Duck, and many more... 
  • Stalls include: Odds & Ends, Home Decor, Wholesale, Greenhouse (plants), Food Court
  • Entertainment by Marcia Miranda, Andrew Friday and Lujo with a special guest artiste appearances
For more information call 1-868-622-6827

11+ Students Certified in CPR Delivery

11+ Students Certified in CPR Delivery
Barbados has been fortunate to now have a group of just under 100 students certified in CPR Delivery. On Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015, some of the students of the primary schools of St. Angela and The People's Cathedral received their "cards" which state that these youngsters who having just sat the secondary school entrance exam, were now members of our society that can deliver assistance in cases of emergency. Read more

President’s Address from Cancer Support Services Annual Conference 2015

Ms. Kathy-Ann Kelly-Springer
Today’s conference “Malignancies in the Paediatric Age Group and Young Adults” is new territory for our organization as we seek to address the effects of cancer in the most vulnerable demographic we serve – that being Children and Youth. Since 2012, we have covered topics such as “Living with Cancer: From Bench to Bedside”, in 2013 we looked at “Living with Cancer: My Life After Diagnosis” then last year we focused on “Clinical Challenges and Best Practices in Cancer Care”. Read more

Jamaica Cited as One of the Countries that the US Chamber of Commerce Lobbied for the Tobacco Industry

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Works Globally to Fight Antismoking Measures read more
  • Why is the US Chamber of Commerce lobbying abroad for smoking? read more
  • U.S. Chamber Fights Smoking Laws While Hospitals and Insurers Sit on Its Board read more

CVS Health Quits U.S. Chamber Over Stance on Smoking

CVS Health Quits U.S. Chamber Over Stance on Smoking
The CVS Health Corporation said on Tuesday that it would resign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after revelations that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were undertaking a global lobbying campaign against antismoking laws. CVS, which last year stopped selling tobacco products in its stores, said the lobbying activity ran counter to its mission to improve public health. Read more

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015

This week the WHO launched the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2015, the fifth in a series of periodic reports about the extent and character of the tobacco epidemic and measures to stop it. This report has a particular focus on tobacco taxation and in-depth analyses of tobacco taxes in all WHO Member States, allowing for a more detailed understanding of progress and future challenges in this area.
The Report  states that despite the fact that raising tobacco taxes to more than 75% of the retail price is among the most effective and cost-effective tobacco control interventions (it costs little to implement and increases government revenues), only a few countries have increased tobacco taxes to best practice level. Raising taxes is the least implemented MPOWER measure – with only 10% of the world’s people living in countries with sufficiently high taxes – and is the measure that has seen the least improvement since WHO started assessing these data. Even so, by 2014, 11 countries had raised taxes to represent more than 75% of the retail price of a pack of cigarettes, joining the 22 countries that already had similarly high taxes in place in 2008. However, there are still many countries with extremely low tobacco tax rates, and some countries that do not levy any tobacco taxes at all”.
Jamaica is mentioned the report of having in 2015 increased its excise to 12 000 JMD (US$ 104) per 1000 cigarettes (60), which – although an encouraging development – is still insufficient to help excise taxes keep pace with inflation”
Additionally, the Report  states that  Jamaica is one of five  countries (Chile, Jamaica, Madagascar, Russian Federation and Suriname) – home to 3% of the world’s population – implemented a comprehensive smoke-free law covering all public places and workplaces. The country was also listed amongst the – Highest Achieving Countries, Territories and  Areas for  Smoke-Free Environments, 2014 and  for  Health Warnings labels about the dangers of tobacco. 
Click here for the full report.

Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Responds to Sweetened Drinks Tax

Mrs Gina Pitts, CEO of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Barbados Nation Newspaper in response to the recently announced Sweetened Drinks Tax.

I have been reading with interest the debate on the recent announcement regarding imposing a ‘sweet’ tax on beverages and juices. Firstly this statement comes from a realist point of view as the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc. has been treating patient’s ranging from 14 to 86 years of age who have been afflicted with cardiovascular disease in all of its forms for 30 years. The Heart & Stroke Foundation commends this bold and intuitive response to the Nations obesity and diabetes crisis. Food and beverage consumption is a personal choice, but there are choices which are seriously damaging to one’s health. Read more

Lessons in Change: The Mexico Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax

Lessons in Change: The Mexico Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax
In this age of instant gratification and social media get-rich quick stories, it may be easy to forget that truly substantial changes rarely happen overnight and instead are the result of concerted efforts over time. An example is the groundbreaking Mexico one peso tax (roughly 8 cents in United States currency) on sugar sweetened beverages (e.g., soda) read more

Sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths a year, study says

Scientists are asking people across the globe to lay off sugary drinks, linking the consumption to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year, including more than 25,000 Americans.Overall, that means one in every 100 deaths from obesity-related diseases is caused by sugary beverages, according to a study published Monday in the journal Circulation. The study, conducted by researchers from Tufts University, found that the beverages would be responsible for 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 from cancer. Read more

Youth Violence Can Lead to Mental Health Problems and Increased Health Risk Behaviours, Such as Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use

In celebration of Caribbean Public Health Day, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has produced a half hour video presentation, “Bullying in Schools" which addresses violence in schools, a major regional public health concern. CARPHA hosted its first ever youth panel discussion on Bullying. Executive Director, CARPHA, Dr. C. James Hospedales revealed that a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report stated that interpersonal violence, traffic injuries and suicide are the three leading causes of death among youths aged 10-19 in the Americas, including the Caribbean. He pointed out that beyond deaths and injuries, youth violence can lead to mental health problems and increased health risk behaviours, such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, and unsafe sex. The video will be released shortly for public viewing.

Ministry Wants Reduction in Consumption of Alcohol

The Jamaica Ministry of Health, through the National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of non communicable diseases (2013-2018), plans to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol by three per cent by 2018. The plan has been approved by Cabinet. Read more

22nd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion

IUHPE Conference 2016
The Municipal Health Secretariat Curitiba, the International Union for Health Promotion and Education and their partners are looking forward to hosting this important global public health and health promotion event. The 22nd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion will take place in Curitiba, Brazil. The aim is to create a global forum where researchers, practitioners and policy makers involved in and concerned about the promotion of health and equity will share and discuss new knowledge, innovations in practice and policy and cutting edge experience. Read more   

Global Cancer Advocacy Training

November 19, 2015 at the 10th Annual Aortic Conference in Marrakech, Morroco, applications are now open. This intensive workshop will empower motivated young professionals to lead effective advocacy campaigns to win real improvements in the lives of people living with cancer in under served communities. Read More
Tobacco a barrier to sustainable development
Tobacco is extraordinarily dangerous to human health and highly damaging to national economies. Nearly one billion people in the world smoke every day; about 80% of them are in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Over six million people die from tobacco use every year, the majority in their most productive years (30-69 years of age). Read more

NCD Alliance Webinar

The NCD Alliance will be holding their next webinar on Wednesday 22nd July at 10:00 – 11:30 am EST/16:00 – 17:30 CET. The powerpoint slides and recording will be made available on the NCD Alliance website after the webinar. Discussion will include:
  • Updates on Post 2015
  • Preparations for the Global Forum of National and Regional NCD Alliances
  • The UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) 2016
In addition, we invite our participants to submit questions prior to the webinar by emailing us at by 20th July. Participants will also be able to send questions and feedback during the webinar. Register here

NCD Child Highlights - the need for integration of NCD prevention and treatment for children and youth within the Sustainable Developmental Goals

NCD Child Highlights
Co-convened by the Governments of the United States of America and Barbados and jointly organized by NCD Child, UNICEF, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the International Pediatric Association, a high level Ministerial Roundtable was held at the ECOSOC meeting on July 7, 2015.
The aim of the roundtable, attended by HCC, was to engage government officials, academics, development partners and corporate representatives in an informal dialogue to raise awareness among and elicit the commitment of national and international policy-makers, donors, and other key stakeholders to address NCDs and children and adolescents as an integral part of the development agenda (SDGs), particularly within the health sector; examine the relationship between child survival and non-communicable diseases, specifically in how both prevention and treatment efforts can be leveraged; and foster an exchange of ideas for inclusion of children and adolescents in NCD prevention and treatment.  NCDs have a significant impact on children and adolescents.  Half of adult NCDs begin in childhood and most of the behaviours that underlie NCDs start during adolescence.
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Latest
On The Menu - Some things are hidden behind the name...Just when you tried eating a bit healthier for a change, and you have to eat out, it hits you that some things on the menu are so foreign that it starts looking shaky to navigate.

Read more from the Heart & Stroke Foundation newsletter here

Stories From the Field: The Use of Information and Communication Technologies to Address the Health Needs of Underserved Populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

As their availability grew exponentially in the last 20 years, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in health has been widely espoused, with many emphasizing their potential to decrease health inequities. Nonetheless, there is scarce availability of information regarding ICT as tools to further equity in health, specifically in Latin American and Caribbean settings. Read more
Invite to contribute to public consuntation process

Invite to Contribute to Public Consultation Process

The WHO global strategy on people-centred and integrated health services represents a call for a fundamental shift in the way health services are funded, managed and delivered. This is urgently needed to meet the challenges being faced nowadays by health systems around the world. Read more
NCD Alliance e-Alert
  • New WHO report on the tobacco epidemic looks at taxation
  • Side event at FfD3: Sustainable financing for NCDs in the post-2015 agenda
  • Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3)
  • NCD Alliance webinar
  • WCRF opens grant programme 2015-2016
Read more
NCDs News
  • PLoS: Walk the walk, talk the talk: Implications of dual-tasking on dementia research read more
  • BMJ: James Raftery: Ever higher cancer drug prices—driven by US policies and genetic sequencing read more
  • BMJ: HPV testing as a screen for cervical cancer read more
Risk Factor News
  • FCA: Fact sheet - Tobacco: a barrier to sustainable development read more
  • Lancet: Diverging global trends in heart disease and type 2 diabetes: the role of carbohydrates and saturated fats read more
  • Lancet: Diverging global trends in heart disease and diabetes: implications for dietary guidelines read more
  • BMJ: Increased calorie consumption corresponds to weight gain levels across the globe read more
  • BMJ: Half of US cardiovascular deaths are due to modifiable risk factors, study finds read more
  • NY Times: US Chamber of Commerce Works Globally to Fight Antismoking Measures read more
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 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.

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.
Copyright © 2015 Healthy Caribbean Coalition, All rights reserved.

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