a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Progress Report (Updated 25th September 2009)

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Dear Members of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition:

I now provide a report of the activities of Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) for the 12 month period following the Healthy Caribbean Conference 2008. Please share information about activities taking place in your organization or in your country with other members of the network whose emails are now being made available, or send information for posting on the coalition’s website to thassell@caribsurf.com.

  • The Organising Task Force established at the conclusion of the conference has met several times via teleconference and had many useful discussions about Caribbean civil society’s role in combating chronic diseases.
  • A website of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition has been established at www.healthycaribbean.org.
  • A Physical Activity workshop was held on the 6-7 March 2009 as a follow up to, and outcome of the Healthy Caribbean 2008 conference. Details on the outcome and achievements of the workshop are available from Professor Henry Fraser.
  • A Technical Report of the conference, Action Plan and Declaration have been produced and are available in electronic form on the website. Hard copies of these documents are being distributed to attendees.
  • The Healthy Caribbean Coalition has joined the Agita Mundo network. The Chair of the HCC has been invited to attend the Annual meeting of the Agita Mundo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 15th-16th October, 2009, where a presentation will be made on the Healthy Caribbean Network.
  • Caribbean Civil society perspectives in chronic diseases management as articulated at the Healthy Caribbean 2008 conference will be shared by me, when I attend, by invitation, an Expert group Meeting on “Chronic Disease Management in India: A Health Systems Agenda”, October 26-28, New Delhi, India.
  • The Healthy Caribbean Coalition will be a co-sponsor of a meeting of the University Diabetes Outreach Programme titled “Diabetes and smoking; the deadly duo” to be held 25-28 March, 2010, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, at which the coalition will provide guest speakers.
  • A presentation, titled “Healthy Caribbean 2008 – a wellness revolution conference” was made, by invitation, by the Chair of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, at the 17th meeting of Chief Medical Officers of Health of CARICOM, 20-21 April, 2009, Castries, St Lucia.
  • The Organising Task Force is taking the lead on behalf of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, together with PAHO, to launch a chronic diseases educational campaign for the Caribbean.
  • The Healthy Caribbean coalition will be providing support for a National Nutrition Improvement and salt reduction programme in Barbados.
  • Mr Adrian Randall will shortly be conducting, on behalf of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, an email based audit of the implementation of the FCTC by Caribbean governments. We look forward to your cooperation as we seek to obtain this important information.
  • The Organising Task Force of the HCC has recently taken a decision to strengthen the Coalition by identifying civil society country representatives for the purpose of advancing the functioning of the HCC in their respective countries.
  • Leaders of civil society and member organizations of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition played major roles in their respective countries in celebration of Caribbean Wellness Day 2009. A report of this event will be posted on the website shortly. Please send us your photographs for placement on the website.
  • A presentation was made by the Chair of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition at the 12th meeting of the OECS Health Ministers, 11th September, 2009, in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The tile of the presentation was “The chronic disease problem in the Caribbean- Civil Society perspective”. A power point version of the presentation is available at www.healthycaribbean.org. The following resolutions proposed and tabled during the presentation were adopted by the Ministers of Health:
  • The establishment of National NCD or Wellness Commissions in all OECS Member States, where these do not currently exist, in keeping with the recommendation by the Heads of Government of CARICOM “Declaration of Port-of-Spain: Uniting to stop the epidemic of chronic NCDs”.
  • Ministers of Health would work with the relevant national authorities to pursue the ratification and full implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in their respective Member States.
  • The implementation of nationwide population salt reduction programmes in OECS countries.
  • Support by OECS Governments and their agencies of the planned Healthy Caribbean Coalition led radio, television and print media educational campaign on chronic diseases.
  • Support for Annual Caribbean Wellness Day, which was declared by Heads of Governments of CARICOM in commemoration of the landmark summit of September 2007 and is aimed at maintaining focus on, and regular sensitization of, Caribbean people about the NCDs.
  • The acceptance of the Caribbean Civil Society Declaration and Action Plan for tackling NCDs, and consideration of the perspectives, proposals and recommendations contained in these documents in deliberations of OECS Ministers of Health.
  • The official recognition of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition by OECS Ministers of Health, and the creation of a mechanism to allow for its participation at the regional level in deliberations concerning the chronic diseases.

We would be happy to hear from you, and in particular welcome ideas and suggestions for the strengthening of the Network.

Professor Trevor Hassell

Prof. Trevor A. Hassell
Chairman of:
Healthy Caribbean Coalition
Advisory Committee, Chronic Disease Research Centre
Barbados National Chronic Non Communicable Diseases Commission
Woodside, Bay Street, St. Michael, Barbados.
Tel: 246 429 5455 / 246 266 2905.

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