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Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Reverend Ronnie Thwaites: Recipient of Sir Philip Sherlock Award at UDOP Conference

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Reverend Ronnie Thwaites receiving Sir Phillip Sherlock award

Friday, March 26 Northern Caribbean University News (Visit website)

Renowned broadcaster, Attorney-At-Law, lecturer, highest success intending talk show host and Health and Tobacco Control Advocate, Reverend Ronald Thwaites is the recipient of the University Diabetes Outreach Programme (UDOP) 2010 Sir Philip Sherlock Award. Each year an award is given to someone who has contributed to the prevention and or control diabetes, usually a research based project. This year however, the award was presented to someone in a different capacity. Reverend Thwaites was selected for using his talk show and presentations to heighten awareness about the impact of the disease.

Additionally, Rev. Thwaites’ concerns about the harmful effects of tobacco are well known and he has several publications which explain the negative impact of tobacco smoking. In his presentation on “Progress Towards Tobacco Control in Jamaica” 

Rev. Thwaites spoke passionately about “the scandalous default of present and past governments in getting rid of the tobacco epidemic.” He also commended the host universities: Northern Caribbean Univeristy (NCU), University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTECH) for bringing to the fore empirical evidence that shows the detrimental effects of tobacco. This partnership he said, "is evidence that they are united around the cause of saving lives."

Guests at the UDOP Conference take notes from Professor Prabhat Jha's presentation.Following Reverend Thwaites presentation, Professor Prabhat Jha, Director, Centre for Global Health Research at the St. Micheal’s Hospital, University of Toronto showed an insightful documentry. The six minute documentary showed six years of research done on six million smokers in India (see link http://www.cghr.org/tobacco). In his presentation, Professor Jha emphasized the importance of introducing initiatives to help smokers quit. Among the proposed interventions are, “raising cigarette taxes, as the higher the price the lower the consumption,” “place smoking question on death certificate for record keeping,” and, “ensure that organizations use pictorial warning signs on boxes instead of just words.” He highlighted also that men who smoke lose about ten years of their life.

Representing the university were Dr. Paul Gyles, Dean of the College of Natural & Applied Sciences and Dr. Erica Sturridge, Dean of the College of Allied Health & Nursing. Also in attendance are two officers from Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, Mr. Orville Morgan and Miss Tashika Witter.