local-to-global

The Port of Spain evaluation on NCDs contains a wealth of detail and recommendations on the way forward in the multisectoral challenge to the epidemic of chronic diseases in the Caribbean. Here is a wide-ranging but easily digestible look at the situation in a number of critical areas and what can and should be done next.

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In 2007 CARICOM Heads of State signed a landmark Declaration to tackle the epidemic of NCDs

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The Port of Spain Declaration promotes policies and behaviours that encourage the pursuit of better health on an individual, community, national and regional level

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz

CARICOM pledges stronger action on NCDs

In July 2016 CARICOM Heads of Government pledged to address:
banning of smoking in public places;
banning advertisement of potentially harmful foods which specifically target children;
raising taxes on foods high in sugar, salt and trans fats

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NCDs pose a major threat to both the health and future of the region and could seriously effect hard-won development gains

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz

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Childhood obesity exceeds 10% in most countries,
driven by consuming high-fat, high sugar food and drink,
Less than 1/3 of school children, 13-15, get the recommended level of physical activity

© fotolia/rubberball/igp

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NCD mortality in the Caribbean is the highest in the Americas.
40% of NCD deaths occur in those under 70 and are potentially preventable

Photo Credit: Shari John

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Heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and cancers are the leading causes of premature death in the region. Hypertension is the leading risk factor for death

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz

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Diabetes prevalence is double global rates. Up to 25% of adults in some countries have diabetes

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz

Introduction

 

The Port of Spain Declaration on Non-communicable Diseases: the path to a healthier Caribbean

In 2007, CARICOM leaders signed the ground-breaking Port of Spain Declaration aimed at uniting to stop the epidemic of NCDs. Now this Declaration is being evaluated by a team of top experts.

Are these ambitious commitments being met? What are the successes and challenges?

The evaluation answers these critical questions.

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Latest Updates

  • facts-figures

    More facts, more figures, more implementation ideas

    The Port of Spain evaluation on NCDs contains a wealth of detail and recommendations on the way forward in the multisectoral challenge to the epidemic of chronic diseases in the Caribbean. Here is a wide-ranging but easily digestible look at the situation in a number of critical areas and what can and should be done […]

  • Did you know?

    Did you know?

    NCD mortality in the Caribbean is the highest in the Americas; Our diabetes prevalence is double global rates; In some countries over 50% of the population has high blood pressure; Less than a third of school children aged 13-15 years get the recommended level of physical activity? Click on our latest fact sheet to get […]

  • Dr Alafia Samuels

    Champion of Public Health in the Caribbean

    Dr Alafia Samuels, Director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre and head of the Port of Spain NCD Evaluation team, has long been a champion of public health in the Caribbean and a leading campaigner in tackling obesity and other NCD risk factors. An in-depth profile has just been published in The Lancet, Alafia Samuels: […]

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    HCC First Annual Caribbean Alcohol Day

    November 18 was the Healthy Caribbean’s first Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day. The harmful use of alcohol is one of the major risk factors for NCDs. According to HCC: “Alcohol contributes to cancer, liver and heart disease, mental illness, violence, accidents and injuries. Globally the harmful use of alcohol is linked to 3.3 million preventable […]

  • Eyes on Diabetes

    Eyes on Diabetes

    Eyes on Diabetes November 14 is observed as World Diabetes Day. According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2015 some 415 million people across the world were reported to be living with diabetes. It is having a devastating impact on the Caribbean, which has double the global rate of the disease. Half of the people […]

  • Michelle O'Kieffe

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Michelle gets busy!

    One of our first interviewees on the website was Michelle O’Kieffe from Trinidad who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2000 at the age of 32. Michelle has been in remission for a number of years and has had a daughter. She has become an activist now and we wanted to […]

  • Landmark Report

    PAHO Director receives UWI-led landmark report on NCDs

    It’s time to accelerate action on non-communicable diseases   Bridgetown, Barbados, 17 October, 2016:  A landmark report on trends in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Caribbean since the Port of Spain Declaration in 2007 was formally presented to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr Carissa Etienne, at an event hosted by the University […]

  • ranchers-eggs

    Healthy eats, tasty treats

      We’re starting a new series, sharing healthy recipes that are also tasty and easy to prepare. Do let us know if you have any great recipe ideas. This week we have a simple dish: rancher’s eggs (huevos rancheros).  The eggs are baked in a spicy tomato sauce, made using a similar method to a […]

  • A farmer speaks

    World Food Day – A Caribbean farmer speaks

    World Food Day – A Caribbean farmer speaks October 16 is World Food Day and the theme is ‘Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too’. It is well known that climate change is having an impact on food security around the world and the Caribbean is no exception. How are our farmers adapting to […]

PAHO Director receives UWI-led landmark report on NCDs

A landmark report on trends in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Caribbean since the Port of Spain Declaration in 2007 was formally presented to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr Carissa Etienne, at an event hosted by the University of the West Indies on the evening of 14 October.

The report presents alarming statistics on the extent of the region’s epidemic of chronic diseases, such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and cancers. It shows that the Caribbean has the highest NCD mortality in the Americas and that 40% of NCD deaths in the region occur prematurely (in people under 70) and are potentially preventable. Diabetes prevalence is double global rates, and in some countries, up to 50% of the population has high blood pressure, the leading risk factor for mortality in the region.

Read more

Healthy eats, tasty treats

We’re starting a new series, sharing healthy recipes that are also tasty and easy to prepare.

Do let us know if you have any great recipe ideas.

This week we have a simple dish: rancher’s eggs (huevos rancheros). The eggs are baked in a spicy tomato sauce, made using a similar method to a Trinidadian tomato choka. The tomatoes are roasted and allowed to char slightly to give the sauce a smoky flavour.

This dish can be eaten on its own or with boiled cassava or whole wheat toast, for example, if additional carbohydrates are required.

Read more

POS Declaration

Declaration of Port-Of-Spain: Uniting to Stop the Epidemic Of Chronic NCDs

We, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 15 September 2007 on the occasion of a special Regional Summit on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs);Conscious of the collective actions which have in the past fuelled regional integration, the goal of which is to enhance the well-being of the citizens of our countries;

Recalling the Nassau Declaration (2001), that “the health of the Region is the wealth of Region”, which underscored the importance of health to development;

Inspired by the successes of our joint and several efforts that resulted in the Caribbean being the first Region in the world to eradicate poliomyelitis and measles;

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Public perceptions of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

What does the public understand about NCDs? Have they heard of them? What are their experiences of them and how do they feel they touch their lives?

This was the question that Dr Anique Atherley, a Junior Research Fellow at the University of the West Indies and a group of researchers set out to answer in a quick research project focusing on short street interviews with Barbadian men and women. They captured a variety of opinions in a variety of settings around the island.

Here is a selection of their voices.

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Living with cancer: Michelle’s story

Michelle O'Kieffe

Michelle O’Kieffe was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 32. Having been in remission for many years, she is determined to improve support for women living with cancer in Trinidad and Tobago. Here is her story.

My name is Michelle O’Kieffe and I live in Trinidad. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2000 at the age of 32.

I discovered a small lump just below my right breast. When I went to get it checked out the doctors were more panicked than I was. I didn’t have a clue that it could be cancer. There was no history of it in my family and I was young, 121 pounds, I didn’t smoke, I was vegetarian, really active.

But when I got the diagnosis, that the cancer had already spread, I took it in my stride. I saw it as another challenge, another hurdle to get over. If anything it was harder on my mum who was alive at the time. She took all the worry, all the emotion, asked all the questions that I didn’t want to ask.

It was hard on my husband and kids as well. I had two sons Christopher aged 12 and Christian 6. I started preparing them for what might happen.

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"We need to urgently tackle NCDs in our region and the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration helps us rise to the challenge. We are now evaluating the Declaration to find out where we have succeeded and where we can do better as we strive for a healthier Caribbean"
Dr Rudolph Cummings, Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

"The epidemic of non-communicable diseases is the pre-eminent public health challenge in the Caribbean. But the response goes far beyond health. That’s why we need a multisectoral approach that involves the whole-of-government and the whole-of-society. The Port of Spain Declaration evaluation helps guide us in what each sector should be doing to respond more effectively"
Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)

"There are those who can make lifestyle adjustments to challenge NCDs but there are other people who can’t do this on their own. We need government policy to address the realities of the typical man and woman in the Caribbean who has real difficulty making healthy choices because of the environment they live in"
Dr Patrick Martin, Chief Medical Officer, St Kitts and Nevis

"I often speak about the connection between spirituality and health, drawing attention to the theological notion that God Almighty cares about the whole person; about our immortal souls and our bodies. So we need to take care of them. We need to eat better, be active and reduce stress"
Canon Noel Burke, Rector of St David’s Church, Barbados

"The emotional impact of Trevor’s Illness is very profound, for example, the moments of sadness… especially when I think of the many things he was capable of and the many plans he had for the future. I miss our conversations too"
Beverley Redhead, commenting on life after husband Trevor’s stroke

"As a church elder, I preach that God wants us to look after ourselves not only spiritually but physically too. Our health is important to Him and it should be to us as well"
Priscilla Prevost, Health Coordinator for the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh - day Adventists

"As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Port of Spain Declaration in 2017, its evaluation allows us the opportunity to review the state of implementation of the 27 commitments and to reflect on the lessons learned, as we scale up our efforts to tackle the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean"
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)