INTERESTING LINKS & ARTICLES
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The overall goal of the project is to build a shared understanding amongst stakeholders of the complex adaptive systems driving local food production and consumption in English-speaking CARICOM states; and implement coordinated packages of interventions within national food systems that promote sustainable livelihoods of vulnerable groups, and combat obesity and diet-related NCDs.

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The researchers, major collaborators and stakeholders of FaN who attended the Inception Workshop

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

 

Improving Household Nutrition Security and Public Health in the CARICOM (FaN- Food and Nutrition):

The project builds on the lessons and outcomes from the “Farm to Fork” project and the findings and recommendations of the Evaluation of the POS Declaration, and seeks to determine how previous and proposed research can best be scaled up and incorporated into more nutrition-sensitive, gender-responsive food systems for CARICOM.”

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FaN Featured Articles

  • sprint-not-marathon

    Obesity fight: Marathon not a sprint

    Jamaica Observer – June 10, 2018. “Pork is red meat, people!” That was the message from Professor Alafia Samuels, director, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre at The University of the West Indies in Barbados, as she warned those in attendance at the opening ceremony for the Medical Association of Jamaica’s 2018 Symposium Jamaica Pegasus […]

  • dr-tufton

    When the sugar too sweet

    Jamaica Observer – June 08, 2018. Member of Parliament Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health, is not a “joke man” when he says that schoolchildren have to give up on the sweet drinks and do the right thing — drink nice, fresh water, and keep their young bodies healthy and pure, yuh nuh! All right, […]

  • symposium-doctors-300x200

    Doctors to focus on obesity at three-day symposium

    Jamaica Observer – June 05, 2018. The spotlight will be on obesity at this year’s staging of Medical Association of Jamaica’s (MAJ’s) three-day symposium, which starts on Thursday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston. The symposium will be held under the distinguished patronage of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and under the theme ‘Obesity: […]

The Port of Spain Declaration Evaluation (POSDEVAL)

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.

Read more

POSDEVAL

  • Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence 2016/17

    Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence 2016/17

    The POS Evaluation Project was presented with the Vice Chancellors award for Excellence 2016/17 – Multi-Campus Research Collaboration: One UWI Award. Professor Alafia Samuels Principal Investigator, The George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, Cave Hill Campus collected the award. This research project 2014-2017 was characterised by its multi-campus, multi-agency research team. The project’s objective was […]

  • 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 […]

  • CARICOM Heads of Government 2017

    CARICOM leaders: Breakthrough in the fight against NCDs in the region

    The push for a healthier Caribbean received a considerable boost when the leaders at the 38th CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in Grenada made new commitments to tackle the epidemic of chronic diseases which is costing the region dear in terms of health and development. In a session devoted to action against NCDs (non-communicable diseases), […]

  • CDRC Sugar Display

    Sugar Shocker

    At the 38th CARICOM Heads of Government Conference one of the main attractions in the meeting area was a ‘sugar display’ constructed by the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre . A number of people who saw the display expressed real surprise and concern about the amount of sugar we’re consuming. They included the Prime […]

  • A CARICOM Minister Reflects

    A CARICOM Head of Government reflects….

    H.E. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, was one of the original signatories of the Port of Spain Declaration on chronic non-communicable diseases and is attending the 38th CARICOM Heads of Government Conference which is marking the 10th Anniversary of the signing of this landmark declaration. Here are his thoughts on […]

  • POSD 10th Anniversary

    10 years after the Port of Spain Declaration: what’s the score?

    2017 marks the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the landmark CARICOM Heads of Government Port of Spain Declaration on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This year’s thirty-eighth CARICOM Conference of Heads (July 4-6) is expected to celebrate this momentous achievement. In 2007, the Caribbean led the world in convening the very first conference of Heads of […]

  • Dr Alafia Samuels

    How to live a longer, healthier life & avoid chronic illness

    For all you ever wanted to know about how to live a longer and healthier life and how to take steps to avoid chronic illness, listen to Dr Alafia Samuels, head of the Port of Spain NCD evaluation, being interviewed by Natasha Lettsome for the Government Information Service in BVI. No preaching, just lots of […]

  • Dr Alafia Samuels Video

    Dr Alafia Samuels discussing accelerating action on NCDs

    Join a lively Dr Alafia Samuels, head of the Port of Spain Evaluation project, discussing how to accelerate action on NCDs so we can all get to our “three score years and 10”. She’s chatting with Joan Tull, the project’s information and communications officer. Informative and not too heavy!     No related posts.

  • fast-food-obesity

    Breakthrough in move to stop fast food advertising in Barbados schools

    The Barbados Minister of Health, the Hon. John Boyce, has announced plans to cut back on fast food outlets advertising in schools across the nation. Speaking in the House of Assembly Minister Boyce said, “There are a number of fast food agents who provide some form of gifts for our private schools, especially, but I’m […]

  • group-3

    New trial to target preventable deaths in the Caribbean

    Bridgetown, Barbados, February 17, 2017.  A study just launched will investigate ways to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which cause more than 60 per cent of deaths in the Caribbean. Researchers from King’s College London, the University of Guyana (UG), Ross University Dominica and the University of the West […]

  • CARPHA GROUP SHOT

    Challenge to childhood obesity in the Caribbean gets a high-level boost

    The need to address a growing epidemic of childhood obesity in the Caribbean brought together a range of top regional experts, leaders and officials in Barbados recently with the aim of thrashing out a road map to respond to this epidemic and make a difference to our children’s health. Hosted by the Caribbean Public Health […]

  • World Cancer Day

    CARPHA – “We can, I can” Reduce My Risk of Cancer

    Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. February 4, 2017. The large number of deaths from breast and cervical cancer in the Caribbean is very alarming, since cervical cancer is largely preventable, and breast cancer can be detected early and treated successfully. Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr C. James Hospedales said, “Common modifiable […]

  • Childhood and adolescent obesity is a major health issues in the Caribbean

    Childhood and adolescent obesity

    Childhood and adolescent obesity is a major health issue in the Caribbean: more than 10% of young people are now obese. In some countries this figure rises to around 25%. Less than a third are active enough and are at growing risk of NCDs such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In fact, in Barbados […]

  • Dr Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO/WHO Representative, Barbados

    Let’s protect the sugary drinks tax in Barbados

    It is critically important that “we all work together to protect the tax on carbonated beverages” in Barbados, says a top regional official of the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation. Dr Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados, told a packed public lecture held at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus that […]

  • SSB Lecture

    Increasing taxes on sugary drinks – will it make us healthier?

    Can the rising epidemic of obesity in the Caribbean be tackled by taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)? How effective is this strategy? Many countries have tried it, including Mexico. In August 2015, the Barbados Ministry of Finance implemented a 10% tax on sugary drinks to help reduce consumption. Dominica has now done the same. But will […]

  • Christmas Stuffing?

    Christmas stuffing?

    For most of us the holidays are a time to kick back, relax and indulge in rich food and drink. We asked dietician Rachel Harris for some practical tips on how to make the most of the season, while keeping our health in mind. Be prepared When you’re going to Christmas parties, it’ll be easier […]

  • 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: […]

  • HCC FIRST ANNUAL CARIBBEAN ALCOHOL REDUCTION DAY

    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 […]

  • World Obesity Day 2016

    Message from Dr Alafia Samuels on World Obesity Day

    Message from Dr Alafia Samuels on the occasion of World Obesity Day In Barbados nearly 2,500 children between 10 – 19 years of age have hypertension because they are obese. Is your child one of them?  Children this age would not have hypertension if they were normal weight. In addition, more than 200 children between […]

  • Island Grill

    Island Grill changing the way we eat

    If we are really to make a difference in the region’s NCD epidemic we have change the way a lot of us eat. One example of a restaurant trying to turn the tide is ‘Island Grill’ in Kingston, Jamaica. They don’t call their products ‘fast food’ – they prefer the term ‘quick service food’- and […]

  • 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

    COHSOD: Making progress in the NCD response

    Non-communicable diseases were high on the agenda at the 30th meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). Taking place at PAHO Headquarter in Washington on 24-25 September, one of the key elements of the meeting agreed on revised priorities for the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration on NCDs. A report on the […]

  • Getting salty in Jamaica

    Getting salty in Jamaica

    Getting salty in Jamaica Many of us in the Caribbean are eating too much salt. A recent study from the region of the Americas found that although 90% of people believe salt is bad for their health, only 30% thought reducing salt intake is very important. In Barbados, according to the Health of the Nation […]

  • COHSOD

    NCDs central to COHSOD meeting

    NCDs central to COHSOD meeting  Non-communicable diseases will be high on the agenda at the 30th meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). Taking place at PAHO Headquarter in Washington on 24-25 September, one of the key elements of the meeting will be to agree on revised priorities for the 2007 Port […]

  • Caribbean Wellness Day

    Caribbean Wellness Day

    Healthy Children in Healthy Environments is the theme of this year’s Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD). Since 2008, on every second Saturday in September people, organisations and communities from all over the region have come together for CWD to strengthen the all-of-society response to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), promoting healthy living, activities and programmes that support wellness. […]

  • Group Photo

    Trinidad and Tobago: civil society rises to the NCD challenge

    Trinidad and Tobago: civil society rises to the NCD challenge   The multisectoral response to the NCD epidemic in Trinidad and Tobago was given a welcome boost recently when a host of civil society organisations met in Port of Spain to discuss accelerating action against chronic diseases. Held on July 28, the meeting brought together […]

  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot

    Social determinants of health: inequality is a mass killer

    Social determinants of health: inequality is a mass killer, says top academic Most of the burden of ill health is socially determined and “social injustice is killing on a grand scale,” Professor Sir Michael Marmot, President of the World Medical Association told a rapt audience in Port of Spain this weekend. Speaking at the Trinidad […]

  • Christina Howitt Lecturer, Chronic Disease Research Centre

    Getting fitter: why we all plan to start ‘tomorrow’

    Getting fitter: why we all plan to start ‘tomorrow’ The vast majority of Barbadians, six out of 10 men and an alarming nine out of 10 women, get too little exercise and this is having severe consequences for the health of the nation. At a recent public meeting, a panel including fitness experts, town planners, civil […]

  • CARICOM pledges stronger action on NCDs

    CARICOM pledges stronger action on NCDs

    CARICOM pledges stronger action on NCDs Good news for the NCD response in the Caribbean! The communiqué issued at the thirty-seventh CARICOM Heads of Government Conference (July 4-6) places chronic diseases firmly on the leaders’ agenda in the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the Port of Spain Declaration on NCDs. Noting that progress on […]

  • Health in all policies

    Health in All Polices: Suriname is trailblazing

    Health in All Polices: Suriname is trailblazing A Health in All Policies approach seeks to improve overall health and development by integrating health issues into decision-making across all sectors. This collaborative idea chimes well with the oft-repeated mantra that the response to non-communicable diseases has to be truly multisectoral, involving all-of-society, if it is to […]

  • Dr Alafia Samuels

    Jamaica has a ‘man problem’

    Jamaica has a ‘man problem’ Kingston, Jamaica, 28 June, 2016:  Sudden, unexpected deaths, especially among middle-aged Jamaican and Caribbean men is often due to undiagnosed and untreated high blood pressure: the number one risk factor for heart attack and stroke in the region and globally. This was one of the stark messages emerging from a […]

  • Dr Alafia Samuels

    We need to do much more on childhood obesity

    We need to do much more on childhood obesity to tackle NCDs, says top expert Childhood obesity is a growing problem across the Caribbean and needs to be addressed if the epidemic of non-communicable diseases is to be brought under control, argued Dr Alafia Samuels, Director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC) in a […]

  • Chief Medical Officers to make NCDs a priority

    Chief Medical Officers to make NCDs a priority

    Chief Medical Officers to make NCDs a priority Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) must use their considerable expertise and influence to help drive the non-communicable disease agenda in the Caribbean, according to a top regional expert. At a recent meeting of CARICOM CMOs in Turks and Caicos, Dr Alafia Samuels, Director of the Chronic Disease Research […]

  • Are you getting enough?

    The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults should all be doing at least 150 minutes a week of “moderate-intensity” physical activity. How many of us actually achieve this target? We visited a park in the heart of Port of Spain, Trinidad, and talked to a range of men and women. Most interviewees (in our […]

  • Time to Step Up NCD Action, Health Ministers Told at WHA

    Time to step up NCD action, Health Ministers told at WHA

    Geneva, Switzerland, May 25, 2016: The Caribbean’s Health Ministers are in a unique position to turn the tide against the region’s growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and need to do much more, a CARICOM meeting at the 69th World Health Assembly heard on Tuesday evening. Hosted by Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr […]

  • Implementation Workshop Presentations

    Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of NCDs – Time to Accelerate Action   Presentations from the Implementation Workshop can be downloaded below: Context, overview and aims of the workshop view/download National and Regional Trends in NCD Mortality, Morbidity and Risk Factors view/download National Policy Responses to NCDs and Lessons Learned view/download Regional and International Policy Responses and […]

  • Get Women Moving campaign launched on World Health Day

    Women in Barbados will be fitter, healthier and less likely to develop diabetes and other non-communicable diseases if the Get Women Moving campaign gets off the ground. Launched during a World Health Day event in the capital Bridgetown on Thursday, the programme is promoting a simple idea: provide inexpensive exercise and dance classes for women […]

  • Mellissa’s story: diabetes is not the end of me

    Diabetes is the focus of World Health Day 2016, marked on April 7. Some 422 million adults around the globe are now living with the disease, including one in five adult Barbadians. 18-year old Melissa is one of them. My name is Mellissa Goodman and I was diagnosed with type1 diabetes about a year ago. […]

  • Port of Spain evaluation: Major results revealed

    Do you want to know how we’re doing as a region in the challenge to NCDs? What’s going well? Where could we improve? How exactly do we speed up action? These ‘evidence briefs’, emerging from the Port of Spain Declaration evaluation answer these questions. The document takes each of the six research objectives of the […]

  • Study shows breakthrough in treatment of type 2 diabetes

    People with type 2 diabetes can come off medication and maintain non-diabetic blood sugar levels through diet and exercise, according to the landmark Barbados Diabetes Reversal Study. This ground-breaking finding means that it is possible for many to put their diabetes into remission. In order to achieve these results, diabetics need to lose a substantial […]

  • Saltsmart: Towards a Caribbean Social Marketing Campaign

    Most people know that consuming a lot of salt is bad for our health. Yet most of us still eat far too much of it, around twice the recommended daily amount. So how do those in the business of social marketing square this circle and get people to cut down on salt, turning awareness into […]

  • Implementation Workshop Video Interviews

    During the recent ‘Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of NCDs – Time to Accelerate Action’ Implementation Workshop in Trinidad and Tobago some of the speakers and attendees were asked to give their thoughts on the workshop and their views on NCDs and the way forward.     To select a specific video click on the […]

  • Implementation Workshop Opening Ceremony

    Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of NCDs – Time to Accelerate Action   Related posts: Port of Spain evaluation: Major results revealed Implementation Workshop Presentations Implementation Workshop Concludes Implementation Workshop Gallery

  • Workshop Ggroup

    Implementation Workshop Concludes

    Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of NCDs – Time to Accelerate Action Action Plan for NCDs emerges from Implementation Workshop The regional response to the grave threat posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) must be intensified immediately if the health, wellbeing and development gains of Caribbean people are to be protected.  This was the key message […]

  • Implementation Workshop Gallery

    All Photos Credit Shari John Related posts: Implementation Workshop Implementation Workshop Concludes Implementation Workshop Video Interviews The Port of Spain Declaration: the path to a healthier Caribbean

  • Implementation Workshop

    Uniting to Stop the NCD Epidemic – Time to Accelerate Action A “golden opportunity”: Major regional workshop to tackle NCDs starts this week Some 60 leaders, experts and activists in the Caribbean NCD response will meet in Port of Spain on February 24 and 25 to get to grips with the epidemic of diseases, such […]

  • Tracie-Ann’s story: adapting to a new life after stroke

    My name is Tracie-Ann Jessamy and I am 44 years old. In 2014 I had a stroke. Many people believe that it’s only older people who this happens to, but this is not the case. When people look at me they don’t really see someone who has had a stroke. They tell me I look […]

  • A view from St Kitts and Nevis

    Dr Patrick Martin, the Chief Medical Officer in St Kitts and Nevis, talks frankly about what really needs to be done to tackle the NCD “tsunami”. “There is no doubt in my mind that our people know there is an NCD problem …. However, knowing and doing are two different things. And that’s where we […]

  • Chair of Grenada’s National Chronic Non-communicable
    Disease Commission speaks out

    Professor Ọmọwale Amulẹru-Marshall, Chair of Grenada’s NCD Commission explores successes and highlights challenges facing the body as it tries to make a difference in the NCD response. My name is Ọmọwale Amulẹru-Marshall and I am a Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Director of Community Health and Outreach at St. George’s University in […]

  • Faith and health go hand-in-hand

    Priscilla Prevost of the Seventh Day Adventists in the Eastern Caribbean shares her ideas on the importance of eating well and keeping fit and why promoting public health has been her passion for 20 years.  “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” 3 […]

  • Living with a stroke: one family’s story

    Trevor Redhead had a stroke in May 2014. His wife Beverley and daughter Tara talk about the profound effect this event has had on their lives. Beverley Redhead was asleep in the early hours of the morning when she heard a thud. Her husband of many years, Trevor, had collapsed on his way to the […]

  • Are you getting enough

    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 […]

  • Keep on moving in Port of Spain

    Every Sunday morning between the hours of six and nine hundreds of people in Diego Martin, a suburb of Trinidad’s capital Port of Spain, take over the streets. Every Sunday morning between the hours of six and nine hundreds of people in Diego Martin, a suburb of Trinidad’s capital Port of Spain, take over the […]

  • BVI: Striving for healthier, happier pupils

    Efforts to give the children of the British Virgin Islands a healthier start in life have received a significant boost with a ground-breaking initiative aimed at raising their level of nutrition and physical activity. Since October 2015 hundreds of primary school pupils in the country’s 15 public schools have been benefiting from a behaviour change […]

  • Civil society in Jamaica spearheading progress
    in tobacco control

    The Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC) has used its influence and expertise to highlight the dangers of tobacco use and push for meaningful tobacco control regulation.   Civil society has a pivotal role to play in the national and regional challenge to non-communicable diseases and should be centre stage in the whole-of-society approach to stemming […]

  • Living with cancer: Michelle’s story

    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 […]

  • Taking care of the body as well as the soul

    Canon Noel Burke, Rector of St David’s Church in Barbados takes pride in the role of the faith community in challenging the epidemic of NCDs. My name is Canon Noel Burke and I’m the Rector of St David’s in Barbados, Chairman of the Barbados Christian Council and a member of the National NCD Commission. I […]

  • The Port of Spain Declaration:
    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. The Port of Spain Declaration has […]

  • Objective 1

    To determine the extent to which the 27 commitments in the Port of Spain Declaration are reported to have been implemented and the national and other characteristics associated with high levels of implementation within the 20 CARICOM countries and territories. Method: This will be carried out through review of the annual progress reports submitted by […]

  • Objective 2

    To describe within the limitations of currently available data, trends in NCD mortality and risk factors from the year 2000 to 2013, in the 20 CARICOM countries and territories.   Method: This will involves the review of mortality, morbidity and NCD risk factor data for 20 CARICOM territories collected by CARPHA as part its surveillance […]

  • Objective 3

    Undertaking in-depth case studies within 7 countries and territories in order to determine: a. The agreement between reported implementation of the 27 commitments and substantive change (effective implementation) b. The degree of use of multi-sectoral approaches including the engagement of civil society, the private sector and Government ministries and agencies in addition to Health c […]

  • Objective 4a

    To Investigate the success of policy development and implementation with regard to tobacco control measures within all CARICOM countries and investigating factors associated their successful implementation.   Method: This will involves the review of the status of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) implementation in the region and triangulated against against Key Informant descriptions […]

  • Objective 4b

    To estimating the potential for revenue generation for NCD prevention and control from taxes on tobacco and alcohol.   Method: This will involve economic modeling will be estimate the potential for revenue generation from cigarette and alcohol consumption in the region taking into consideration the region’s various combinations of specific and ad valorem taxes. In […]

  • Objective 4c

    Objective 4c   To describe within the limitations of currently available data, trends in NCD mortality and risk factors from the year 2000 to 2013, in the 20 CARICOM countries and territories.   Method: Data collection will be through Key Informant Interview and review national health policy documents. An audit of media penetration will also […]

  • Objective 5

    To determine the degree to which regional and international bodies have met the commitments outlined in the Port of Spain declaration.   Method: This will involve review of policy documents, meeting reports, and peer-reviewed publications related to NCD planning in the region as well as and Key Informant Interviews. Related posts: Objective 1 Objective 2 […]

  • Objective 6

    Assessing to the impact of the POS Declaration regionally and internationally, including its role in instigating and shaping the UNHLM.   Method: This will include a review of policy documents, cross referenced against with findings from objectives 3 and 5 to outline role that the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration played in the realization of […]

  • Objective 7

    Building on the lessons learnt from this evaluation detailed action plan and implementation strategy will be developed that will: a. Fills gaps identified in the POS implementation b. Takes account of multi-sectorality and opposed interests c. Includes resources required and their potential sources for sustainable financing d. Improves upon the monitoring of POS, monitors the […]

  • Objective 8

    Disseminating the lessons learnt from this evaluation nationally and regionally to enhance implementation of POS and globally to inform the attainment of commitments from the UN High Level Meeting on NCDs.   Method: A communication strategy and plan identifying key target audiences ranging from CARICOM Heads of Government to the woman/man in the street will […]

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.

Read more

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)