a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Progress report and update on the “Healthy Caribbean 2008 – a wellness revolution conference

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Strategic purpose of the conference. To focus attention of the Caribbean on the epidemic and burden of the Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) leading in turn to post conference follow-up action, activities, programmes and policies that will lead to reduction of CNCDs in the Caribbean. The conference will be led by Caribbean Civil Society and is a follow up to the Heads of Government of CARICOM Summit on CNCDs held in Port of Spain last year.

Expected conference goals and outputs:

  • A draft “Caribbean Civil Society Action Plan for tackling CNCDs, 2008-2012”, at the Caribbean and country level. Executed by the InterAmerican Heart Foundation.
  • A Caribbean Civil Society Platform/Declaration. Executed by the Platform work group.
  • A report on the Conference including the delivery of the Science of Peace Lecture and the IAHF journalism contest award on tobacco control. Executed by the Chronic Disease Research Centre.
  • Building of capacity in important elements of civil society’s tool kit, including advocacy, media campaigns etc.
  • Provision of a forum for a wide cross section of Caribbean leaders from various sectors of society to learn about the problem of chronic diseases and consider how best to solve it.
  • Identifying and promoting evidence-based best practices for addressing the chronic disease epidemic in the Caribbean.
  • Obtaining commitment from key civil society leaders and organizations to advance the Action Plan and the Declaration.

Dates: 16-19 October 2008

Venue: Accra Beach Resort Hotel, Barbados.

Sponsors:

PAHO, InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Barbados Ministry of Health, National Insurance and Social Security - CNCD Commission, and Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados

Partners:

Discussions are well advanced for the following, and several other organisations to be partners and supporters of the conference: the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Cave Hill, UWI, Caribbean Cardiac Society, Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, Cable and Wireless, Servier Caribbean ltd., InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, CARICOM Secretariat, CHRC, CAREC, SuperCentre (B’dos) Ltd, CPC and PWR-ECC offices of PAHO, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barbados Chamber of Commerce, and the National Insurance Board of Barbados.

Attendees/participants:

Some 100-120 leaders and senior representatives of identified organizations throughout the Caribbean are being invited to attend the conference. Organizations will include Caribbean Health NGOs, health care providers, labour, faith based organizations, business community, policy makers, media and communications, agriculture, education, youth and special interest groups.

Pre-conference sensitization of attendees:

This has been started and takes the form of regular email postings, of which this the third, that provide updates of the conference and information about aspects of the CNCDs. Additionally, a conference website (www.healthycaribbean.org) has been set up and is a source of information about the conference.

Communication:

A pre-conference communication plan has been developed and has resulted in news about the conference published in a leading newspaper in Guyana. Additionally, information about the conference has been circulated on website www.caribbean360.com.

Science of Peace Lecture and Award:

The Faculty of Medical Sciences, Cave Hill, UWI, Barbados has agreed to host this public event for 600 persons as a special feature of the conference. It will be held at the Sherbourne Conference Centre on Friday, October 17th, 2008. The audience will consist of conference attendees and persons invited to attend by sponsoring and partnering organizations. Planning for this event is being undertaken by a small committee under the direction of Professor Henry Fraser, University Dean, UWI.

5th InterAmerican Journalism Contest Awards on Tobacco Control:

These awards will occur during the conference. Mr. Javier Valenzuela (javier.valenzuela@heart.org) of the InterAmerican Heart Foundation is leading on the arrangements and applications for this event with assistance from members of the local organizing team of the conference.

Opening Ceremony and Cocktail party:

Plans are well advanced for the hosting of the Opening Ceremony and Cocktail reception by the Ministry of Health, National Insurance and Social Security.

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