Jamaica National Committee on Non-Communicable Diseases

by HCC
Status as at September 2023 Active
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Country Jamaica
Name Jamaica National Committee on Non-Communicable Diseases
Status as at September 2023 Active
Date of establishment -
Date of first meeting December 2011
Date of last meeting July 08, 2021
Number of meetings over past 12 months The NNCDC meets every few months
Chairperson’s name Dr. Trevor Ferguson
Title Chairman
Organisational affiliation Ministry of Health and Wellness
Duration of tenure -
Legal authority/reference Appointment by the Minister of Health and Wellness
Location(sector/entity) Ministry of Health and Wellness
Mandate/Scope of work Advocacy, advise on policy/legislation/programmes. No explicit mandate for implementation of programmes, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation or research. No mandate for hospital services review.

Providing advice to government on NCD legislation/policy/regulations/programmes


Programme development and implementation

Monitoring and evaluation

Promotion of research

Health promotion

Communicating for health

Resource mobilisation

Terms of reference No
Conflict of interest policy No
Code of ethics No
Standard operating procedures No
NNCDC strategic plan/plan of action
Duration of strategy of plan of action
Yes. Last plan was completed in 2013. New plan is currently being developed.
Decision-making process (consensus, majority, other) Majority
Membership and Personnel 28 members
Government sector membership and level of representation Ministries of Agriculture and Education, Trade, Consumer Affairs, Transport, Local government, Food and Nutrition



Foreign Affairs


Social services


Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ)

Local Government and RuralDevelopment

National Food Industry Task Force

National Health Fund

National Council on Drug Abuse

Civil society membership and level of representation University of the West Indies, Health NGO, Sports groups and Faith-based organisations

Nurses Association of Jamaica

Medical Association of Jamaica

Press Association of Jamaica

Diabetes Association of Jamaica

Heart Foundation of Jamaica

Jamaica Cancer Society

University of the West Indies - Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR)

Violence Prevention Alliance

Private sector membership and level of representation Manufacturers, Food retailers, Advertising and Media
Private Sector Organization of Jamaica
Ex officio members Chief Medical Officer, NCD Focal Point, Health Promotion Officer
Secretariat exists? If so, please give date of establishment No
Resources The NNCDC has its own resources and obtains them through the Ministry of Health & Wellness. This is currently in development and resources available will be determined after the workplan is completed
Full-time human resources/functions No
Part-time human resources/functions No
Main functions (advisory, accountability, strategic planning, project/programme implementation, other)

Providing advice to government on NCD legislation/policy/regulations/programmes


Programme development and implementation

Monitoring and evaluation

Promotion of research

Health promotion

Communicating for health

Resource mobilisation

Main areas of interventions for NCDs and NCD risk factors -
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?
Mental health is considered an integral part of the work of the Commission and in addition the Commission liaises with the HIV/AIDS programme to share successes and methodologies.
Framework(s) of reference (national policy, strategy or plan; international plans/strategies) -
Focus of interventions (legislation, taxation, policy development, project/programme development, project/programme implementation, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, other) -
Work groups/subcommittees/task forces and their functions It has 9 Sub-Technical Committees whose Chairs or Co-Chairs are members of the National Committee.

Sub-Technical Committees:
  1. Surveillance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Research
  2. Tobacco and Alcohol Control
  3. Physical Activity
  4. Health, Diet/Nutrition
  5. Health Promotion, Education, Communication, and Social Marketing and Special Sitting
  6. Screening and Integrated Disease Management
  7. Violence and Injuries Prevention
  8. Policy
  9. Mental Health
Accountability mechanisms (periodicity of monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and to whom; financial accountability mechanisms) Occurs every 2 years
Bi-Annual Reports submitted to the Ministry of Health and Wellness
Main successes
  • Participation in the formulation of the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in Jamaica 2013-2017
  • Implementation of the Public Health Tobacco Control Regulation 2013
  • Education of stakeholders, the Mayors of Kingston and St Andrew, the Capital of Jamaica and her counsellors, and the Mayor of Portland and his counsellors, on the economic consequences of NCDs
  • Media sensitisation/ education on the NCDs
Success factors -
  • 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)
Main challenges
  • Lack of budgetary support and lack of dedicated secretarial support to implement many of its functions
  • Lack of authority to implement policies or to audit results of the NCDs plan
  • Lack of clarity about their independence from the Ministry of Health
Expected Challenges

Responsibilities related to the NCD Committee will fall mostly on persons already with busy full time commitments requiring persons to juggle regular tasks with NCD Committee tasks. Limited time will be a major challenge

Data on NCD trend may be difficult to obtain, particular morbidity data as the system for routine data collection are not fully functional

Possible push back from industry players who may view the work of the NCD Committee as detrimental to their bottom line

Difficulty mobilising resources to carry out the task and proposals from the Committee

Ensuring engagement of all sectors of society

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?
Actions not yet taken

For starters we requested and obtained assignment of an Administrative Secretary and Technical Officers to Support the Work of the Committee

Will need additional support staff for the MOHW NCD Unit and provide incentives for NCD Committee Members to encourage their efforts

Will need improvements in data collection systems for monitoring and evaluation

Consider the creation of NCD Fellowships to build capacity for persons equipped to responded to NCD epidemic

Training in public engagement and communication strategies for NCD Committee members

Partnerships, technical cooperation (TC) – please summarize partners and relevant TC areas None
Main source(s) of funding and approximate percentage of funding from each source Ministry of Health & Wellness
Indicative annual budget (USD) None
Resource mobilisation, main areas None
Mechanisms for sustainability None
Status as at December 2021 Newly Reconstituted (no info 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 -