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February 5 - February 11 2014

Healthy Caribbean Weekly News Roundup
Healthy Caribbean Coalition

HCC Feature

Heart Foundation of Jamaica warns against “the silent killer”

Heart Foundation of Jamaica World Heart Month

Seventy-eighty percent (78%) of persons screened for high blood pressure by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) in 2012 were found to be either pre-hypertensive, or fall within stage one or stage 2 category of hypertension. Of this amount forty four percent (44%) were not aware of their condition also known as “the silent killer”.

This was disclosed by the Executive Director of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ), Mrs Deborah Chen, at the Launch of Heart Month held today at the Spanish Court Hotel. Each year, the HFJ celebrates the month of February as Heart Month.

Heart disease continues to be the leading causes of death in Jamaica. During Heart Month, the Foundation usually organizes and carries out a variety of activities to further sensitize the Jamaican Community about issues related to heart disease. This year the activities which were launched by the Honourable Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson, includes a plaza promotion, a medical symposium, three outside broadcasts and visits to twenty two (22) health centres islandwide within the context of the theme “Know Your Numbers”. The Foundation’s Go Red Ambassador for Women Mrs. Thalia Lyn also endorsed the theme.Read more

Healthy Caribbean Coalition

News Roundup

The Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean is now offically open

The Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean

With the opening of The Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean on February 1st, The Barbados Diabetes Foundation (BDF), registered charity #484 established in 2001, achieved a significant milestone. The tasteful opening ceremony was held on the grounds of the Centre in the presence of such distinguished guests as the Rt. Honourable Freundel Stuart, QC, MP. Prime Minister of Barbados, HSH Prinz Eugen Von und zu Lietchtensein, Chairman of the Medicor Foundation;Mr. Christopher Holder, Co- Founder and chairman of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Mrs Heather Zacker, Director of International Programs and Operations of Joslin Clinic (Harvard), Dr Ernest Pate, PAHO/WHO Regional Representative (acting) for Barbados and the Caribbean, and Ms. Noreen Merritt, President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados. Read more

St. Maarten to sharpen cancer advocacy skills - St Maarten is expected to learn techniques on how to empower patients to become advocates for supportive cancer prevention programmes, such as regulated screening at a Cancer Advocacy Event scheduled for February 14th-20th. Read more

St. Maarten - Cancer Prevention Month by Judy Fitzpatrick - Shelly Alphonso: Cancer is no longer a death sentence - Asin Oostburg encourages everybody to 'love your body'. Fighting and overcoming diseases such as cancer canbe an uphill battle. "But it isn't a death senctence", says Positive Foundation President Shelly Alphonso. Read more

World Day for Physical Activity World Day of Physical Activity - Giving birth celebrations of the World Day of Physical Activity on 1 April held the XI Forum of Best Practices. For the first time in the history of Agita São Paulo will happen Meeting of National and International Advisors of Agita São Paulo, (pre-scheduled for Saturday, April 5) date the meeting aims to plan the next actions of Agita São Paulo program. Then, on Sunday April 6, there will be a large Agita Mundo parade Read more

Red Alert - Heart Disease the biggest killer of women - Women are being encouraged to have regular cardiovascular screening and blood pressure checks, as heart disease stands as the number one killer of women in Barbados.There is also an increasing incidence of women having heart attacks below the age of 50. This was the word from chief executive officer of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Gina Pitts, as she spoke to Barbados Today at Scotiabank, CGI Towers, Warrens, St Michael, where the foundation sought to raise awareness about heart disease among staff members, targeting particularly women. Read more

World Hypertension Day 2014 The World Hypertension League is gearing up towards the World Hypertension Day 2014. A Global Hypertension Awareness Survey has been launched through the WHL website to promote WHD 2014’s theme Know Your Blood Pressure. The survey is open to anyone to go and enter their information on-line. The name and contact information are optional. During the first week of May we will analyze the entire data collected to see the number of entries from each country. The country with maximum entries will be recognized by the WHL. The WHL request your support to promote the WHD 2014 and to encourage both the public and NGOs in your region to participate for maximum response.Take the survey

City Of Hope Program Educates African-American Women About Breast Cancer DUARTE (CBSLA.com) - campaign is underway at City of Hope hospital in Duarte to educate African-American women about the risks of breast cancer. KCAL9’s Melanie Woodrow reports the Patient Navigator program offers support for survivors and raises awareness for those at risk. Kommah McDowell, a breast cancer survivor and patient navigator, helps fellow survivor Kimberly Stewart navigate the challenging journey of cancer follow-up care. Read more

Vast Study Casts Doubts on Value of Mammograms

Too much mammography One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age. It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. One in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman’s health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. Read more

Too much mammography - Mette Kalager, medical doctor and researcher. Long term follow-up does not support screening women under 60 - Before being widely implemented, mammography screening was tested in randomised controlled trials in the 1960s to 80s. Meta-analyses of these trials showed a relative reduction in deaths from breast cancer of between 15% and 25% among women aged 50 to 69. Only the Canadian National Breast Screening Study showed no reduction in breast cancer mortality. This large randomised controlled trial compared physical breast examination with combined physical breast examination and annual mammography in women aged 40 to 59.1. Read more

Caribbean Cardiac Society - Abstract Submission Closes in a Few Weeks - The CCS 2014 Conference Planning Committee is still accepting abstracts for presentation at the 2014 Annual Caribbean Cardiology Conference. The CCS Conference is the premier cardiovascular meeting in the Caribbean and one of the region's preeminent medical meetings. We hope you will take the opportunity to participate in what we know will be an educational and engaging learning experience. Read more

NCD Alliance E-Alert - UN General Assembly Discusses NCD Report - Member States convened on 10 February in the UN General Assembly to consider the UN Secretary-General’s report on progress made on the prevention and control of NCDs. While there have been significant advancements at the global level under the leadership of WHO since the UN High-level Meeting in 2011, the report underscores that progress has been “insufficient and highly uneven” to date, with accelerated action urgently needed at levels and by all actors. Read more

February is American Heart Month - National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention - February is American Heart Month an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness about heart disease and how we can prevent it. All month long we will share news, events, and resources that can help in your efforts to bring attention to the number one cause of death in the United States. Read more

Alcohol-linked deaths a problem for the Americas - (Reuters Health) - Liver disease and brain disorders due to alcohol abuse are important causes of premature death in the Americas, a new study concludes.The toll of too much drinking is especially high among men and among middle-aged people, according to the report, whose authors say it's the first to tabulate deaths resulting solely from alcohol."This provides direct evidence of the impact of alcohol on the health of countries in the region," said one of the study's authors, Dr. Vilma Pinheiro Gawryszewski, an advisor on health information and analysis for the Pan American Health Organization(PAHO). Read more

Satellite Symposium on: "Acute Endocrinology" - The Caribbean Endocrine Society as part of The University Diabetes Outreach Programme's (UDOP) 20th International Diabetes Conference presents a Satellite Symposium on: "Acute Endocrinology" Friday March 28, 2014, 2:00pm - 6:00pm, The Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Read more

46th Ten-Day International Teaching Seminar on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention , May 25 - June 6 2014, Mysore, India. Approximately 36 Fellows can be accepted. Nominees should normally be at the postgraduate level with residency training or its equivalent, and be interested in cardiovascular disease epidemiology. Normally, preference will be given to younger candidates, with little or no formal training in epidemiology. Tuition, board and accommodation are provided without cost to fellows. Fellows and their sponsors are responsible for their own travel costs to the seminar. Applications should be received before February 14th applications can be sent to Professor Kay-Tee Khaw by email: kk101@medschl.cam.ac.uk.

CVS Bans Tobacco Products; Keep the Momentum Going - National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention - Yesterday, CVS/Pharmacy announced its plans to discontinue the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products later this year at its more than 7600 stores across the United States. The National Forum applauds this effort. CVS is the first national pharmacy chain to remove tobacco products from its stores. It joins other major retail chains such as Target and Wegmans Food Markets which stopped selling tobacco products in their stores in 1996 and 2008, respectively. Read more

Pharmacy giant to stop selling tobacco products by Oct. 1. (usatoday.com) WASHINGTON - Changes in the pharmacy industry spurred by the Affordable Care Act helped push drug store giant CVS Caremark to announce Wednesday it will stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores, and industry experts say they expect other businesses to follow. CVS said it will stop tobacco sales by Oct. 1, a move that will cost the company about $2 billion a year or about 3% of overall sales. Being in the wellness business, however, no longer goes with tobacco, said Helena Foulkes, CVS' pharmacy president. Read more

Tobacco industry claims 'plain' packs won't work based on weak evidence (Medicalxpress) - Tobacco companies lack strong, relevant evidence to support their claims that standardised (plain) packaging of tobacco products in the UK won't work, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open. The aim of plain packaging, with no logos, brand imagery, symbols, or promotional text, is to restrict the already limited opportunities that transnational tobacco companies have to market their products, and deter people from starting smoking. Read more

Imperial Tobacco Said to Weigh IPO of Logista Business (Bloomberg) (Bloomberg) - Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, Europe’s second-biggest tobacco company, is considering an initial public offering of its European logistics unit, according to people familiar with the matter. The Davidoff maker is working with Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) on a potential IPO of Madrid-based Logista this year, said two of the people, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Other options being considered by Bristol, England-based Imperial are a sale of a minority stake in the goods delivery company to a private-equity firm or a strategic partner, the people said. Read more

NCD Articles on WebMD

  • Women's Heart Attack Symptoms - For women, heart attacks may not cause classic symptoms like crushing chest pain. Learn the warning signs that may save your life. Read more
  • How Exercise Helps Control Diabetes - One woman loses her father to complications of his diabetes. She's inspired to handle hers differently. Read more
  • A Visual Guide to Cervical Cancer - When caught early, cervical cancer is highly treatable. But there are few early warning signs, so regular exams are extremely important. Read more
  • Bad Habits for Your Heart - Habits like eating fried foods or smoking can put your heart at serious risk. Explore simple changes to help prevent heart disease. 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

HCC Featured - Previously featured Members, events and news can now be found on our HCC Featured webpage here

Healthy Caribbean Coalition
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Healthy Caribbean Coalition

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 hcc@healthycaribbean.org.

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