Healthy Bahamas Coalition

by HCC
Healthy Bahamas Coalition
Commission Profile
Status as at June 2019Active
NameHeathy Bahamas Coalition
Date of first meetingThursday, 9th September, 2015
Date of last meetingThursday, 21st September, 2017
Number of meetings over past 12 monthsMeetings are held every 6-12 months
Chairperson’s nameDr. Phillip Swann
Organisational affiliationMinistry of Health
Duration of tenure3 years (appointed Jul 2016)
Legal authority/referenceEstablished by the Cabinet of the Government of The Bahamas
Location(sector/entity)Ministry of Health
Mandate/Scope of workAdvocacy, advise on policy / legislation / programmes, implementation of programmes; Implied mandate for resource mobilization. No explicit mandate for hospital services review, monitoring and evaluation or research.
Terms of referenceTerms of Reference exist for each component and arm of the Healthy Bahamas Coalition
Conflict of interest policyYes. The HBC receives no funds from fast-food enterprises, sellers of high fat, high salt, high sugar foods, alcohol companies, tobacco sellers, and gambling houses.
Code of ethicsNo
Standard operating proceduresYes. Included in establishment document.
NNCDC strategic plan/plan of actionThe HBC operates under the guidance of a Coalition Strategic Work Plan. A draft National NCD Strategic Plan has been developed in concert with the Ministry of Health, PAHO and other in-country partners and stakeholders.
Decision-making process (consensus, majority, other)Consensus
Membership and PersonnelExecutive Committee comprises of leads of twelve SubCommittee and the Chairman.
Government sector membership and level of representationAdolescent Health Clinic, Department of Public Health; C. W. Sawyer Primary School, Department of Education; Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, Department of Public Health; Consumer Affairs Office, Ministry of Labour & National Insurance; Department of Environmental Health Services; Department of Gender & Family Affairs; Department of Public Health; Department of Road Traffic; Gerald Cash Primary School, Department of Education; Grand Bahama Community Health Services; Health Education Unit, Ministry of Health; Healthy Lifestyle Programme, Ministry of Health; Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources; Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Financial Services; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Labour & National Insurance; Ministry of Public Service; Ministry of Social Services & Urban Development; Ministry of Tourism; Ministry of Transport & Aviation; Ministry of Works & Urban Development; National Health Insurance Secretariat; National Insurance Board; Nutrition Unit, Department of Public Health; Office of the Attorney General of The Bahamas; Office of The Prime Minister; Policy & Planning Unit, Ministry of Health; Psychiatry Department, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre; Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, Public Hospitals Authority; T. G. Glover Primary School, Department of Education
Civil society membership and level of representationBahamas Atlantic Region Commonwealth Nurses & Midwives Federation; Bahamas Christian Council; Bahamas Communications & Public Officers Union; Bahamas Dental Association; Bahamas Insurers Association; Bahamas Medical Association; Bahamas Nurses Association; Bahamas Pharmacy Association; Cancer Society of The Bahamas; Sister/Sister Breast Cancer Support Group; Southern Bahamas Conference of Seventh Day Adventists; Women’s Crisis Centre.
Private sector membership and level of representationA Healthy Difference - Nutrition Consultants; Bahamas Chamber of Commerce & Employers Confederation; Bahamas Electricity Corporation; Central Bank of The Bahamas; Commonwealth Bank; Doctors Hospital Health Systems; Elite Fitness Consultants; Handling Your Health Wellness & Rehab; Royal Bank of Canada; Scotia Bank Bahamas.
AcademiaSouthern College; University of The Bahamas.
Ex officio membersDeputy Chairpersons and Executive Secretary (Lead of the HBC Secretariat).
Secretariat exists? If so, please give date of establishmentYes. 1st July, 2016
ResourcesThe HBC has its own established Secretariat with dedicated staff. The present structure can accommodate fifteen persons. Six persons are presently engaged.
Full-time human resources/functionsYes (Six Secretariat Staff)
Part-time human resources/functionsYes (Chairman, Deputy Chairperson and SubCommittee Leads)
Main functions (advisory, accountability, strategic planning, project/programme implementation, other)Advisory; Strategic Planning; Development of Community-based health promotion and management programmes; Programme implementation; Advocacy; Awareness campaigns; Promotion and recommendation of standards and guidelines
Main areas of interventions for NCDs and NCD risk factorsManagement of hypertension and diabetes by patient and loved ones; Promotion of older persons health; Mental Health; Alcohol consumption reduction; Tobacco cessation; Promotion of cancer screening guidelines; Nutrition; Weightloss; Physical Activity Guidelines; Violence and Injury prevention
Other health issues that the NCD/Wellness Commission /Wellness Coordinating Mechanism addresses-
  • 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?
There is a working relationship with partnership in supporting Mental Health awareness and treatment options – though no formalized mechanism has been crafted. A similar relationship is being explored with the National Council for Older Persons.
Framework(s) of reference (national policy, strategy or plan; international plans/strategies)At present, the HBC operates according to its internal Strategic Workplan -2016-2018. The ideal is to operate against the National NCD Strategic Workplan (with which there is some overlap) once it has been finally approved.
Focus of interventions (legislation, taxation, policy development, project/programme development, project/programme implementation, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, other)Training of Tobacco Cessation Counsellors; Advancing physical activity guidelines; promotion of cancer screening guidelines; Development of community-based training.
Work groups/subcommittees/task forces and their functionsThere are twelve SubCommittee, each committed to the pursuit and fulfilment of their stated goals and objectives in the HBC 206-208 Strategic WorkPlan.
Accountability mechanisms (periodicity of monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and to whom; financial accountability mechanisms)Annual Programme Report; Budget submission for Government Funding; Key points prepared for the Minister of Health’s Budget contribution.
Main successes
  • Official Launch of the Healthy Bahamas Coalition
  • Outdoor physical activity event for teenagers
  • Annual Caribbean Wellness Week observation
  • Fitness and Weightloss Challenges
  • Tobacco Cessation Counsellor Training Workshop
  • Quarterly meetings on schedule for two years
Success factors
  • Dedicated Secretariat staff
  • Continued support from the Minister of Health and the Ministry of Health leadership – including financial
  • Technical and advisory support from PAHO Bahamas office
  • Broad spectrum of partners and collaborators from public sector, private sector, faith-based organizations and civil society
  • 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)
  • Hosting of Obstacle Course Fun Day in December 2016 facilitated mainly by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force. The RBDF erected an obstacle course using its Officers and engaged its Rangers (junior branch made of high-school students) to participate.
  • Hosting of the launch of the Healthy Bahamas Coalition supported by reduced assessment of costs by the University of The Bahamas.
  • Hosting of weekly exercise sessions by the RBDF Officers. Weekly exercise sessions were hosted by RBDF Officers on Saturday mornings at 7am at Arawak Cay for enrollees in the 1st Annual Weightloss & Fitness Challenge from June – August 2017
Main challenges
  • Widespread media support and engagement
  • Securing continued support from Government Agencies
  • Inconsistent funding streams due to competing national priorities
How were these challenges overcome? Specifically:
  • 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?
The change in administration did not disrupt Commission operation in the main as the HBC had established enough of a presence in the Ministry and community. The main factor for continuity was the fact that the Minister of Health was a proponent of the need for a community/social awakening and engagement in the matters of individual and population health.
Partnerships, technical cooperation (TC) – please summarize partners and relevant TC areasNone
Main source(s) of funding and approximate percentage of funding from each sourceCabinet approved item in Ministry of Health’s budget (90%); PAHO country funds (10%). Stipends are paid to Leadership roles in the HBC.
Indicative annual budget (USD)Undisclosed
Resource mobilisation, main areasTechnical assistance is provided through the work of various members of the approximately one hundred members of Core Committee of the HBC. Additional funds are being sought through donations and targeted funding for specific projects and programmes developed by the SubCommittees.
Mechanisms for sustainability
  • Cabinet conclusion
  • HBC/NNCDC written into the national NCD Strategic Implementation Plan 2017-2022
  • Terms of Reference
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Mandated Annual Reports
  • Inclusion in MOH budget
More information on the Healthy Bahamas Coalition is found on its Facebook page – Healthybahamascoalition as well as on its website –  Direct contact with the HBC can be made through its website or at
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