The HCC, in support of People Living with NCDs during the COVID-19 pandemic, is pleased to launch our newest campaign – Now More Than Ever #ProtectPeopleWithNCDs on the margins of the Thirty-Second Inter-sessional Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which will be held on the 24th and 25th of February 2021.
The Now More Than Ever Campaign is part of HCC’s commitment to a Transformative New NCD Agenda – our vision for tackling NCDs, learning from the ongoing lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, grounded in human rights and equity and driven by the voices of People Living With NCDs – amplified in solidarity by Caribbean citizens.
The campaign, which will run over two weeks, targets CARICOM Heads of State and Government and People Living with NCDs. In recognition of the unique vulnerability of those living with NCDs to the coronavirus, the campaign is reminding Caribbean people – those large numbers living with NCDs – to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. The campaign supports and calls on regional Governments to prioritise actions that will safeguard the lives of those living with NCDs.
All of the campaign materials are available to download here.
Now More Than Ever #ProtectPeopleWithNCDs
As CARICOM leaders meet this week under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the region will be one of the major agenda items for discussion , the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the region will be one of the major agenda items for discussion, as well as the advancement of the Regional Agenda on Food and Nutrition Security; and the exploration of strategies to deepen their engagement with the key sectors including Civil Society.
The Now More Than Ever Campaign follows on an Open Letter to CARICOM Heads of State and Government Calling for Urgent Action to Protect those Living with NCDs from COVID-19 released by the HCC on 27th of March 2020, and a subsequent joint statement with the OECS Commission calling for the Strengthening Food and Nutrition Security in the Caribbean: A Legacy Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. One year on from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the HCC is calling on CARICOM Governments to remember their commitments to protect the most vulnerable from the coronavirus pandemic.
Now More Than Ever #ProtectPeopleWithNCDs
We are at a critical juncture now. COVID-19 has been a wake-up call. It has shown us that Now More Than Ever is the time to prioritise the fundamental right to health. It has demonstrated the imperative of an inclusive, multisectoral, multidisciplinary, integrated response for its containment; an approach that is also critical for NCD reduction, climate crisis adaptation and mitigation, disaster preparedness and mitigation, food and nutrition security, and poverty reduction.
Recent spikes in cases and rising deaths across the region are creating fear amongst those who are most likely to suffer severe illness and mortality – those living with NCDs and those living with obesity. At the same time, individual and collective leadership has given rise to hope as some countries launch aggressive national COVID-19 vaccination campaigns where those living with chronic conditions now line up for life-saving vaccines. We need to act now to save lives by deploying the tools and the policies which we know work.
The HCC, the only regional alliance with membership of over 100 civil society organisations focussed on tackling the greatest health threat to our region – NCDs – is recommitting ourselves to work with CARICOM Governments to deliver on commitments by refocusing and redoubling efforts to tackle NCDs which means protecting people living with NCDs during this pandemic and after and creating environments which prevent new NCDs.
The pandemic has had serious health, social, and economic impacts. It has the potential to slow progress in achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Urgent, focussed and sustained action is needed to ensure that gains made in reducing premature mortality from NCDs, including mental, neurological, and substance use disorders are not lost
HCC President, Sir Trevor Hassell
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