Dominica National Commission on CNCDs

by HCC
Status as at September 2023 Inactive
Country Dominica
Name Dominica NCD Commission (DNCDC)
Status as at September 2023 Active
Date of establishment 2008; active for 2 years followed by period of dormancy from 2010 to 2016. A new Commission was appointed in February 2016. Letters of invitation went out in June 2016
Date of first meeting July 2016
Date of last meeting September 2016
Number of meetings over past 12 months 3 (periodicity monthly to date: July, Aug, Sep)
Chairperson’s name Ms. Priscilla Prevost
Title Health Coordinator
Organisational affiliation East Caribbean Conference of Seventh Day Adventists/Lifestyle Health Consultant
Duration of tenure 2 years, to February 2018
Summary of steps taken to establish the Commission The Health Promotion Unit of the Ministry of Health (MoH) contacted individuals who would be able to contribute and be interested in the Commission; the names then were submitted to the Cabinet, which made the appointments. The MoH followed up to inform the members
  • Was there a planning group, (e.g. Task Force, Committee or other “precursor body”) that worked to establish the Commission?
  • If so, does the group still exist?
  • If it does, what is its relationship with the Commission?
No planning group
  • Are there recommended profiles or desired characteristics for Commission Chair and Commissioners?
  • Were these applied in selecting the Chair and Commissioners?
  • If yes, to what extent do the Chair and Commissioners satisfy them? Fully? To a large extent? To some extent?
The TOR do not provide characteristics for the Chair, but do stipulate a multisectoral nature of the Commission
Legal authority/reference Commission is appointed by Cabinet and is supposed to report (according to the ToR) every 6 months to Cabinet through the Minister of Health; supported by the presence of a legal representative on the Commission
Location(sector/entity) Ministry of Health
Mandate/Scope of work As set out in TOR
Terms of reference Yes; old TOR revised and to be submitted to the Minister of Health
Conflict of interest policy No
Code of ethics No
Standard operating procedures No
NNCDC strategic plan/plan of action Not yet, but plan to develop this. Presently reviewing the draft Ministry of Health NCD Policy and Plan which would inform the Commission’s own plan.
Decision-making process (consensus, majority, other) No, not as yet
Government sector membership and level of representation Ministry Education (Education Officer responsible for Health & Family Life Education); Ministry of Agriculture (Director of Agriculture); Ministry of Trade (Director of Trade); Ministry of Health (3 representatives: Health Promotion Coordinator – Mrs. James; CMO; Epidemiologist and Health Advisors to the Minister; Representative from Legal Affairs
Civil society membership and level of representation Dominica Cancer Society; Dominica Diabetes Association; East Caribbean Conference of SDA Health Ministries (FBO)
Private sector membership and level of representation Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (umbrella organisation)
Ex officio members -
Secretariat exists? If so, please give date of establishment Not as yet. The MoH Health Promotion Unit functions in this role for the time being
Full-time human resources/functions No paid staff
Part-time human resources/functions No paid staff
Main functions (advisory, accountability, strategic planning, project/programme implementation, other) Main roles in ToR, with primary focus on advisory role working closely with the Health Promotion Unit.
Main areas of interventions for NCDs and NCD risk factors 3 priority areas identified – childhood obesity; nutrition; physical activity (with an emphasis on built environment i.e. space for physical activity). Also legislation regarding smoking – FCTC
Other health issues that the NCD/Wellness Commission addresses Advocacy for effective management of NCDs
  • 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) National NCD Policy in draft/ National NCD Strategic Plan – in draft?
Focus of interventions (legislation, taxation, policy development, project/programme development, project/programme implementation, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, other Legislation regarding smoking – FCTC, smoke-free spaces, and advertising. Draft developed by Health Promotion Unit and approved by Cabinet; to be sent to Legal for drafting
Work groups/subcommittees/task forces and their functions Have not discussed this as yet, and the group is small. However, one subcommittee for press launch of the Commission
Accountability mechanisms (periodicity of monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and to whom; financial accountability mechanisms) Commission reports directly to the Minister of Health, therefore has direct line of communication. Minutes of meetings prepared for each meeting and report made to the Minister 3 – 6 monthly
Main successes Not applicable – newly formed. However for Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) jointly with the MOH had a church service to launch the CWD, held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Success factors Not applicable – newly formed
  • Were there any successes due mainly to the participation of non-health sectors in the Commission
  • If yes, please summarize, highlighting the role played by the non-health sector(s)
Not applicable – newly formed
Main challenges Not applicable – newly formed
How were these challenges overcome? Not applicable – newly formed
  • 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?
Not applicable – newly formed
Partnerships, technical cooperation (TC) – summarize partners and relevant TC areas Not applicable – newly formed
Main source(s) of funding and approximate percentage of funding from each source MOH Health Promotion Budget for Commissioner stipends
Indicative annual budget (USD) To be developed. Stipend recommended as part of the TOR to cover meeting costs. Chair EC$300 (1) and members EC$150 (~11); funds would come from the Health Promotion Budget; recommendation will be approved
Resource mobilisation, main areas At the last meeting discussed the issue of the taxes on the SSBs to go towards the activities of the Commission. Issue in DMA with taxes going into the Consolidated Fund, however, so exploring with Ministry of Finance mechanisms for retrieving the revenue
Mechanisms for sustainability Not explored yet
Additional information/comments Would be interested in being connected with other Chairs across the region

The Dominica National Commission on NCDs met from 2008 – 2010 and has not since met, due to lack of a Chairperson. Although the Commission had a mandate and Terms of Reference from the Minister of Health, with Multisectoral membership including government, civil society and the private sector, the Commission had no strategic plan. In terms of funding, there was budgetary support and PAHO funding and technical support.

However, Dominica has experienced increased participation of civil society and the non-health government sectors in the celebration of Caribbean Wellness Day. Participants include Faith Based Organizations, financial institutions, insurance organizations, the private sector, alternate health organizations, non-health sectors, health NGOs, the Ministry of Education, Youth, Healthy Community, association of retired persons, academia, the music industry and health districts. Stakeholders are eager to partner with the MOH and implement and finance their plans. During the last 3 years the MOH has been a catalyst building the building of partnerships among stakeholders for NCDs, and encouraging stakeholders to collaborate. This strategy has proven successful, resulting in an entire month of ‘Caribbean Wellness Day’ activities over the past 4 years.

These successes have occurred despite inadequate financial resources for information, education and communication, late receipt of promotional material from CARICOM and insufficient buy-in from critical policy makers and senior technical officers in Health.

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 -