On Tuesday April 18th, the HCC signed an MOU with the University of the West Indies Open Campus (OC). The three year programme of collaboration will harnesses the organisations’ collective experiences and resources, through joint implementation of programmes and projects on capacity building, organizational development and technical assistance. The emphasis will be on: development and delivery of educational programmes focused on NCDs; “insertion” of NCDs into relevant current academic programmes of the OC; hosting of joint regional NCD meetings; and the conducting of virtual NCD lecture series and webinars.
Since the HCC was formed some 9 years ago it has established a significant relationship with faculties and departments of health of the UWI; and members of staff, in particular of the Chronic Disease Centre, have played important roles in many of the programmes and activities of the HCC. The special relationship now being established between the HCC and the Open Campus – a non-health section of the UWI recognises that tackling the epidemic of NCDs goes well beyond health, requiring the empowerment of people, which the Open Campus seeks to do based on its Guiding principle that the high-quality university education, research and services available at the Open Campus should be open and available to all people who wish to reach their full potential inside and outside of the Caribbean region
The relationship initiated today reflects the HCC’s strategic priorities of accountability, advocacy, capacity development, communication and sustainability, and provides a platform for these priorities to be given meaningful effect by the Open Campus across its 44 physical sites in 17 English Speaking Caribbean countries. HCC President, Sir Trevor Hassell, commented that it was his ‘personal aspiration that the initiative will serve as a regional “game changer” in the prevention and control of NCDs.’
In her remarks, Principal of the UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, noted:
this relationship seeks to ensure that the message that reduction and elimination of NCD’s is crucial to our development is sent out throughout the region and penetrates the consciousness not only of medical practitioners and related health fields but of every man, woman and child in our communities across the region. We feel that as the University moves towards its new Strategic Plan for 2017-2022 which speaks to “Revitalizing Caribbean Development”, there is no better way to Re-vitalize our people than through ensuring healthy lifestyles that will enable a productive, happy and energized work force.