BVI Health and Wellness Advisory Council

by HCC
Status as at September 2023 Inactive
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Country British Virgin Islands
Name BVI National Health and Wellness Advisory Council
Status as at September 2023 Inactive
Date of establishment November 2012
Date of first meeting January 2013
Date of last meeting September 27, 2016
Number of meetings over past 12 months 6
Chairperson’s name Mr. Cromwell Smith
Title OBE
Organisational affiliation President of BVI Diabetes Association
Duration of tenure -

Summary of steps taken to establish the Commission


Was there a planning group, (e.g. Task Force, Committee or other “precursor body”) that worked to establish the Commission? Yes, NCD Task Force was established in 2009
If so, does the group still exist? -
If it does, what is its relationship with the Commission? No
Are there recommended profiles or desired characteristics for Commission Chair and Commissioners? Yes
Were these applied in selecting the Chair and Commissioners? Yes
If yes, to what extent do the Chair and Commissioners satisfy them? Fully? To a large extent? To some extent? To a large extent. Effort was made to strengthen the council, using the 1st draft of the draft Framework for the Establishment and Strengthening of National NCD Commissions in the Caribbean –Towards a More Effective Multisectoral Response to NCDs Part II by The Commonwealth Secretariat and Healthy Caribbean Coalition
Legal authority/reference Cabinet decision approved by House of Assembly, September 2011.
Location(sector/entity) Ministry of Health and Social Development
Mandate/Scope of work NCDs and NCD Risk Factors Prevention and Control
Terms of reference Advises the Minister of Health on NCD matters; Coordinates and monitors the implementation of NCD Prevention Strategy; Advocates for NCDs programmes, and policies ; Assists in mobilizing resources ; Coordinates an All-of-Society response to NCDs; Presides over an annual forum which will provide interaction for various stakeholders and the general public
Conflict of interest policy Persons involved in tobacco and alcohol enterprises will not be selected as members of the Council, Interdepartmental Technical Working Group or subcommittees. No donation or sponsorship will be accepted from businesses or persons that will be in conflict of the work of Council
Code of ethics To be developed
Standard operating procedures To be developed
NNCDC strategic plan/plan of action Yes
Decision-making process (consensus, majority, other) Consensus
Government sector membership and level of representation Government sector, Interdepartmental Technical working Group: Ministries of Education, Communication and Works (Transportation and Infrastructure), Labour and Natural Resources (Occupation Safety and Health, Agriculture and Fisheries, Climate Change), Finance (Department of Trade and Commerce), Health (Social Security Board, Public Health and Health Services); Physical Activity and Physical Literacy; lead Health/Sport, Police Force, Department of Sport, Town and Country Planning, Natural Park Trust, and Recreation Trust. Heads of Departments, Deputy Heads of Departments and Statutory bodies. Chairman of the working group is a Junior Minister and he was appointed by the Minister of Health
Civil society membership and level of representation H. Lavity Stout Community College, faith-based, youth, teachers’ union, health NGOs, women, community health advocate, health professional associations, sports organisations, and construction industry Community arm of the Council has not been developed as yet. The aim of the Community Councils (which have not been developed fully) is to promote active community participation and to ensure that community members have an institutionalized avenue to be involved in the healthy development of communities.
Private sector membership and level of representation Food retailer and media, BVI Chamber Of Commerce and Hotel Association – experienced senior representatives from their respective companies.
Ex officio members Chief Medical Officer, Director Medical Services, BVI Health Service Authority, Coordinator of Health Promotion Services. The Coordinator of Health Promotion Services also serves as the national focal point for NCDs.
Secretariat exists? If so, please give date of establishment Yes, 2008
Full-time human resources/functions No
Part-time human resources/functions Health Promotion Unit, Ministry of Health, serves as the Secretariat. Provides administration and technical support to the Council, Interdepartmental Technical Working Group and the subcommittees. Roles include development of programmes and projects; policy development; information, education and communication(IEC); capacity building; monitoring implementation of programmes; and resource mobilisation.
Main functions (advisory, accountability, strategic planning, project/programme implementation, other) Advisory and accountability - advocacy, advise on policy/ legislation and programmes, monitor implementation of 10-year NCD Prevention Strategy “Toward A Healthier Virgin Islands”
Main areas of interventions for NCDs and NCD risk factors Chronic care, treatment and management diabetes and hypertension, tobacco, alcohol, physical activity, healthy eating, and healthy weight
Other health issues that the NCD/Wellness Commission addresses School health, occupational health and safety, physical literacy, and the built environment
  • Is there integration – structural or functional, with other health-related Commissions, such as HIV Commissions?
  • If so, to what extent? Fully? To a large extent? To some extent?
Framework(s) of reference (national policy, strategy or plan; international plans/strategies) Declaration of Port-of-Spain: Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Chronic NCDs, 2007; Recommendations from United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs; Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020; PAHO NCD Regional Action Plan 2013-2019; Caribbean Cooperation in Health Phase IV (CCHIV, 2016-2025) and the National NCD Prevention Strategy 2011-2022
Focus of interventions (legislation, taxation, policy development, project/programme development, project/programme implementation, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, other Legislation, taxation, policy development, programme and project development, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation
Work groups/subcommittees/task forces and their functions Technical Working Group does most of its work through 5 working subcommittees- Healthy Schools, led by Ministry of Education; Healthy Spaces and Places led by Town and Country Planning; Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention and Control, led by the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Healthy Workplaces led by Department of Labour, Chronic Services, Ministry of Health and BVI Health Services Authority; Physical Activity and Physical Literacy led by Department of Youth Affairs and Sport and Ministry of Health. Subcommittees are made up of representatives from government, NGOs, private sector and civil society. Food and Nutrition is coordinated by BVI Food and Nutrition Council
Accountability mechanisms (periodicity of monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and to whom; financial accountability mechanisms) An annual report is prepared; Ministry of Health participates in regional and international monitoring; internal reporting and reviews are held regularly.
Main successes Participated in the formulation of MOU between the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, to improve academic and Health in school age children; Implementation of Healthy School Programme promoting nutrition and physical education in 15 primary public schools in the territory; Integration of health and wellness into occupational health and safety; Development of 3-year Chronic Care Action Plan 2016-2019 to improve care and treatment of diabetes and hypertension in primary care of BVI Health Services Authority; Introduced 10,000 Steps Walking Programme to promote more physical activity in adult population aged 25-64 years
Success factors Built strong relationships with others sectors; developed an intersectoral structure which facilitated collaboration across sectors; sought to develop projects and programmes that had win/win for other sectors focused on risk factors and social determinants of health; promoted the All-of-Society Health Policy
Were there any successes due mainly to the participation of non-health sectors in the Commission Yes
If yes, please summarize, highlighting the role played by the non-health sector(s) Chairpersons of subcommittees are from non-health sectors with the exception of Chronic Care subcommittee Chairpersons of subcommittees are from non-health sectors with the exception of Chronic Care subcommittee
Main challenges Resources: mobilizing, costing; moving from awareness-raising toward behaviour change in the IEC activities; NCDs seen as a health care issue; research and evaluation
How were these challenges overcome? We are still grappling with these challenges
  • Did changes in administration disrupt the Commission’s functioning?
  • If yes, what were these changes and their effects?
  • If no, how was continuity of function maintained? What steps were taken?
Partnerships, technical cooperation (TC) – summarize partners and relevant TC areas Physical Literacy - Canadian Sport for Life, Canadian Olympic Committee, Caribbean Olympic Association, and BVI Olympic Committee; using physical literacy to improve physical activity in the whole population
Healthy School Programme - Caribbean Public Health Agency
Childhood Obesity - Stanford University
Self-Management Programme for persons living with chronic diseases - PAHO /WHO
Main source(s) of funding and approximate percentage of funding from each source Government 50%, international source 35% , and regional source 15%
Indicative annual budget (USD) Moving toward having budgets for programmes and projects integrated in the relevant ministries’ budgets
Resource mobilisation, main areas Physical activity, nutrition, chronic care
Mechanisms for sustainability In the process of developing Health in All Policies Framework in 2017
Additional information/comments None
Status as at December 2021 Inactive (no information available)
Develop and implement a comprehensive mental health plan that complies with international human rights instruments,
includes allocated human and financial resources, and undergoes regular monitoring against indicators or targets for implementation
Decriminalize suicide, suicide attempts and other acts of self-harm -
Increase public awareness about mental health and how to stop discrimination through campaigns that involve
individuals living with mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities
Introduce brief interventions for hazardous substance use -
Advocate with other sectors such as housing, education, social welfare etc for the support of people with mental disorders
and psychosocial disabilities
Does the NNCDC structure include a position for a youth representative? -
Is the NNCDC connected to other organizations that prioritize youth engagement? -
Has the NNCDC utilized social media campaigns to target youth? -

Reduced affordability of tobacco products by increasing tobacco excise taxes and prices -
Protect people from tobacco smoke by creating, by law, implementing completely smoke-free environments in all indoor workplaces, public places, and public transport -
Warn individuals of the dangers of tobacco and tobacco smoke through effective health warnings and mass media campaigns -
Implement and enforce bans on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship -
Ban the sale of tobacco to minors -
Support plain packaging and pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages -
Implement measures to minimize illicit trade in tobacco products -
Assess the usage and impact of e-cigarettes, and develop appropriate control measures if indicated, including through legislation and regulations for tobacco control -
Raise public awareness of physical inactivity through mass media public spaces and other programmes -
Develop population-based, age-specific guidelines on physical activity. -
Advocate for the design of public spaces that are supportive of physical activity. -
Reduce salt intake and salt content of food -
Replace trans fats with unsaturated fat -
Raise public awareness of unhealthy diet through mass media and other programmes -
Place taxes on sugar sweetened beverages -
Implement nutritional labelling policies which promote consumption of healthier foods and beverages -
Develop and implement school policies which restrict the availability of unhealthy foods and beverages within schools and their surroundings -
Raise excise taxes on alcoholic beverages -
Regulate commercial and public availability of alcohol -
Enforce restrictions or bans on alcohol promotion and advertising -
Collaborate with NGOs and Ministry of Transport to educate the public on the harmful use of alcohol -
Advocate for the introduction of breathalyser testing -
Improve housing conditions and ensure access to clean energy sources for indoor cooking, heating and lighting -
Create awareness and develop appropriate strategies to reduce exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke in households -
Phase out health-harmful subsidies for fossil fuels and polluting industries and introduce penalties for polluters and/or taxes on pollution -
Include air quality measures in urban, rural and transport planning at city, regional and national level, including measures to encourage modal shift and active mobility, noting the additional benefits to health, wellbeing, and reduction of health inequalities -
Adopt and strictly enforce emissions standards for all pollutants in all relevant sectors, including industry, energy, transport, waste, and agricultures -