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Healthy Caribbean Coalition
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May 23 - May 29 2014

Healthy Caribbean Weekly News Roundup
Healthy Caribbean Coalition


Civil Society Playing Important Role Driving Alcohol Advocacy in the Region

Dr. Rohan Maharaj, Senior Lecturer in Family Medicine at the University of the West Indies, and passionate alcohol policy advocate, is working closely with the HCC to accelerate civil society driven progress in the area of alcohol policy and programming in the Caribbean.

Playing Important Role Driving Alcohol Advocacy in the RegionDr. Maharaj recently attended the 2nd Meeting of the Pan American Network on Alcohol and Public Health in Columbia in April 2014. The objectives of the meeting were: To review progress made on the Regional Plan of Action to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol; To exchange information on national initiatives, identify needs and priorities for national and regional technical cooperation; To discuss the presentation of a Regional Report on alcohol for 2014-2015; and To strengthen network for PANNAPH.

The HCC delivered a presentation on its work to date in this area including supporting the inclusion of civil society at the Belize 2013 subregional meeting on alcohol; the establishment of the Caribbean Alcohol Policy Action Network (CARIBAPAN); and preliminary findings of a Civil Society Watchdog Report: An Inventory and Analysis of Alcohol Related Policies and Programmes in CARICOM building on the WHO Global Survey on Alcohol and Health. The meeting also provided a valuable opportunity to network with key regional governmental partners, members of PANNAPH, GAPA (Global Alcohol Policy Alliance) and the CAMH faculty. The HCC would like to thank PAHO for their ongoing support of civil society inclusion in these proceedings. If you would like more information on this work please contact us via reply email. For more information on CARIBAPAN or to become a member please visit www.caribapan.org.

News Roundup

The HCC President at the 67th World Health Assembly (Part 2)

67th World Health Assembly

Saturday 24th May: following a marathon session held last evening here in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan closed the 67th World Health Assembly attended by nearly 3,500 registered delegates. Many decisions were taken at the conclusion of the Assembly of interest to the NCD community, including; the urging of Member States and the Director-General to ensure that health is central to the post-2015 development; requesting the WHO Director-General to develop a comprehensive global strategy and plan of action for healthy ageing to be considered by the 138th Executive Board and 69th World Health Assembly in 2016; and noting that a Framework for Country Action for Health in All Policies has been developed.

And so the HCC and the global NCD community moves on to The UN NCD Review, to be held 10-11 July 2014 at UN Headquarters, preceded by an informal interactive civil society hearing which will be held on June 19, 2014, and at which the HCC will be continuing its contribution to the multi-sectoral approach to NCDs. Let us join hands and make this world a better place. We can do so by effectively responding to the challenges posed by NCDs.

Food manufacturer recognises it’s responsibly - Barbados - Purity Bakeries have written to the HCC to outline their efforts to help in the fight against NCDs, the following are excerpts from the letter, the full correspondence can bee seen here.

Purity Bakeries

We have successfully completed, in collaboration with the Trinidad based Caribbean Industrial Research Institute Laboratory (CARIRI), a full Nutritional Fact assessment on all of our ‘Wonder’ branded products and are in the process of placing Nutritional Fact panels on all of our ‘Wonder’ packaging. The results of these tests have been positively encouraging, and in particular confirmed the reduction of both the salt and sugar content of our products as well as the intended increase of high fibre. We saw both of these steps as important in securing the trust of the public which we serve. We fully recognise that many food manufacturers the world over are prepared to simply use key-word terminology to influence consumer behaviour in their favour. We are however steadfast in demonstrating, through our ‘Wonder’ brand, our commitment to the development of a healthy, better educated and informed nation.

They will also provide an area at BMEX 2014, where the NCD Commission, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition along with the respective organizations (Heart & Stroke, Cancer, Asthma & Diabetes), can interface directly with many of the thousands of Barbadians visiting the BMEX 2014 exhibition, being held on the weekend of June 6th to 9th. Local NGO's are encouraged to take part both in this opportunity and the ongoing discussions with Purity and other food nmanufacturers. Read more

NCD Alliance Online consultation on the UN Review - In preparation for the UN Review, the NCD Alliance is holding an online consultation among our network to assess progress made since 2011, and identify priority outcomes for the UN Review. This is an opportunity to include a wide range of voices and perspectives from members our network from all parts of the world, whether or not you are able to attend the Review in person. The NCD Alliance will be collating responses and producing a report in time for the civil society hearing. The online survey consists of four sections, and will take 20 minutes to complete. The survey will remain open until 8 June. Please feel free to circulate the consultation to your networks. Please click here to access the online survey

NCD Alliance E-Alert - Registration Now Open for UN Review and Civil Society Hearing! Civil society registration for both the UN High-Level Review on NCDs on 10-11 July AND the civil society interactive hearing on 19 June is now open. It is necessary to pre-register in order to attend both events. Please note it is a single registration process. Summary of the 67th World Health Assembly. Read More

NCDFREE - Starting local, thinking global

NCDFREE - Starting local, thinking globalHow do we make climate change a public health issue? Can we encourage young people to care about a disease they may not get for another 30 years? These are some of the challenges we posed to a group of 60 young leaders who took part in our recent NCDFREE advocacy bootcamp at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia - made possible by Remedy Healthcare. Read more

Central Health - Grenada Men's Health, Part 3 of 4 - Prostate Cancer. - During this four part series, Central Health - Grenada seeks to educate men about the importance of screening. This broadcast will focus on prostate cancer. Urologist and surgeon Dr. Robert Yearwood will answer some questions regarding prostate cancer and the importance of early screening. Additionally in this broadcast you will hear from the Ministry of Health's Permanent Secretary Aaron Francois who will share concerns about men's health and how the Ministry plans to address some of them and to close out the program will be Pastor Gerry Keens Douglas with some spiritual encouragement. Read more

World Action for Salt and Health (WASH) Saving Lives by Reducing Salt Intake
WASH have produced an informative letter about salt reduction and the lessons learnt in the UK. This letter can be edited and sent to all food manuacturers across the Caribbean. HCC supports this initiative and encourages it's members to participate in this campaign. Download the letter template here

Public health isn't a priority for profit-driven alcohol industry

profit-driven alcohol industryFor the first time, an Irish Government has decided to treat our harmful relationship with alcohol as a public health problem in an effort to bring about positive change in a society where binge drinking and drunkenness has become normal, accepted behaviour. The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, being drafted by the Department of Health, represents an important first step in this regard. Of particular importance are those evidence-based policy measures that target the key areas of alcohol pricing, marketing and availability. Read more

Cancer Support Services will be hosting its 3rd Annual Conference - Cancer Support Services will be hosting its 3rd Annual Conference on Saturday June 28th, 2014 at The Accra Beach Hotel, the topic is “Clinical Challenges and Best Practices In Cancer Care”. To register, kindly call Cancer Support Services at 228-7081. Registration closes on June 9th. Read more

Small Steps to Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) - Small Steps to Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) aims to encourage people who have experienced a cardiac event to take small ‘heart healthy’ steps to help mitigate the risk of a subsequent cardiac event. Recognising the complexity of the rehabilitation process following a cardiac event, patients can benefit enormously from taking one small step at a time to make favourable lifestyle modifications and improve adherence to treatment programmes, which can lead to positive behavioural changes and reduce the risk of experiencing a repeat cardiac event. Read more

Tips for using Twitter around health-related events Tips For Using Twitter Around Health-related Events

The use and popularity of social media have thrown open the doors of health-related events. Now a statement made during a conference plenary, a new health policy set by a government, or a funding decision by a major donor, can all be read about, watched or heard by thousands of interested onlookers all over the globe. In an instant. Read more

To Wellness Aquafitness News May 2014 - April in Review: Sunday Sun publication, World Health Day and Diabetes Event. To Wellness' article on aquafitness and therapy was published in the Sunday Sun's Easy Magazine on April 6th, 2014. To Wellness holded a morning Boardwalk Workout on April 7th, 2014, in celebration of World Health Day. To Wellness participated as an exhibitor at the 'Power to Prevent Diabetes and its Complications'. Read more

NCD Articles on WebMD

  • How to Spot Prostate Cancer - Even though screening tests can help catch prostate cancer early, it’s important to know the risk factors and warning signs. Read more
  • Know the Warning Signs of Diabetes - 1 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. Here’s how to spot subtle symptoms. Read more
  • Spot Signs of Heart Disease - Heart disease can worsen slowly over time. Learn the early warning signs and how to prevent a heart attack. Read more
  • How to Breathe for Better Health - Rapid belly breathing can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Find out the right breathing technique for your body. 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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HCC Secretariat, Caribbean Catalyst Inc., River Road, St. Michael, Barbados, BB11155