The Antigua and Barbuda Diabetes Association (ABDA) recently organized healthy food donations for persons living with diabetes in Antigua. This initiative was inspired by the Barbados’ Childhood Obesity Coalition’s healthy hampers for PLWNCDs.
The Antigua and Barbuda Diabetes Association works with a group of children and young people living with diabetes and their families; the organisation facilitates education sessions and experiential programming for these youngsters. ABDA recently donated 10 bags of fruits, vegetables and sweet potatoes to this group. The items were donated by the Association and some of its members.
The HCC commends the ABDA for this initiative. PLWNCDs, especially now, are encouraged to manage their conditions which includes maintaining a balanced diet with fresh produce and limiting energy dense, nutrient poor foods where possible. The HCC continues to advocate for food and nutrition security to be an integral component of the COVID-19 response as outlined in the HCC and OECS Commission joint statement on Strengthening Food and Nutrition Security in the Caribbean. A whole of society approach is needed to combat the COVID-related dietary shifts and address the unique concerns of PLWNCDs. We applaud the CSOs and we hope that there continues to be support for food security measures by the CSOs in collaboration with the private and public sectors.
If anyone is interested in contributing to the ABDA healthy food bags, please contact the President Ms. Juanita James at 268-764-5096 or the Public Relations Officer Mr. Anderson Tuitt 268-723 -5697.
Civil Society Organisations continue to play a critical role in supporting vulnerable persons during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those living with non-communicable diseases. The Caribbean Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Childhood Obesity Prevention (COP) Action Team is a growing network of Caribbean-based Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) member CSOs committed to advancing the implementation of nutrition and physical activity policies to tackle the rise in childhood overweight and obesity in the region.
During COVID-19, the Action Team has been working toward implementing local and regional initiatives to support and give voices to persons living with non-communicable diseases (PLWNCDs) in their various countries. Many have been focused on advocating for food security measures and making healthy food more accessible. For example, there have been excellent backyard gardening efforts in The Bahamas and St. Lucia.