PAHO Buzzing with NCD Activity in the ECCs 

by HCC

PAHO Buzzing with NCD Activity in the ECCs Led by PAHO Chronic Disease Advisor, Dr. Tomo Kanda, there has been a buzz of NCD-related activity in the Eastern Caribbean Countries over the past few months.

1. PAHO Sub-Regional Meeting on Integration of Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health: The Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health, – How to maximize national efforts on NCD prevention and control in consideration with Key Global Mandates’ 30-31 May, 2016, St Lucia.

National participants from the Ministry of Health and other Ministries such as National Mobilization, Social Development and Gender, Education and Social Transformation and NGOs were invited to participate.  All participants reviewed their national NCD action plan; identified strategies for integration of approaches with a special focus on targeted age groups; and presented their plans for critique and discussions.  Dr. Tomo reported that ‘it was very successful meeting and it provided a platform for national representatives from different Ministries working together.  Some countries adopted national targets as country national priority.’

Meeting materials:-

2. St. Lucia Multistakeholder Meeting on the NCD policy and the multisectoral action plan – 27-28 May 2016.

PAHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, St Lucia, organized the meeting.  Five Permanent Secretaries (Ministry of Health, Education, Agriculture, Social Transformation and Trade and Foreign Affairs) attended the meeting and delivered very promising commitments on NCD prevention and control in St Lucia.  In addition, driven by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health’s great concern and interest in  “Health in All Policies”, Dr. Kanda was requested to attend the Inter-Ministerial Committee (Cabinet) to highlight an integrated approach for NCD prevention and control.  Dr. Kanda commented that ‘things are moving in a good direction and the creation of healthy environment will be starting soon.’

3.  St Vincent and the Grenadines National NCD Response

Dr. Kanda commented that St. Vincent has been moving the NCD agenda along quite well. The PAHO/HCC/USF Smart Salt Initiative is making good stride.  A Salt Smart Coalition has been established and they have developed a communication strategy and plan including “branding” information, a slogan, a logo and key messages.  The coalition is preparing to launch a series of nation-wide Smart Salt Campaigns focussing on special settings such as supermarkets and the home. The campaign will start in the 2nd week of July this year.  In addition, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with various Ministries will start the “Healthy Zone” project under the umbrella of the “Safe Hospital” Initiatives and the “Healthy Village, Healthy Island” project.  Georgetown was selected as the demonstration site.  Dr. Kanda applauded the leadership of the Ministry of Health and noted that this was a very unique approach to expand “healthy zone” step by step.

4. Meeting on Sensitization for Health-Related Laws (18-22 July, 2016)

The PAHO ECC Office in Barbados in collaboration with all levels of PAHO/WHO will hold this two part meeting in July.
The first part is “Meeting on Strategy for Health-Related Law: Sensitization, dissemination and implementation in the English Speaking Eastern Caribbean Countries (18-19 July, 2016).  The meeting will discuss specific actions to support Member States in the formulation, implementation or review of health-related law and regulations in a manner consistent with human rights law instruments, as appropriate, taking into account a multisectoral approach on health issues such as: health determinants, health promotion through the life course, primary health care, universal health, access to medicines, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases and risk factors, among others.

The second part is “Meeting on Health Law: Implementing Fiscal and Regulatory Policies to Prevent Obesity in Children and Adolescents in English-Speaking Caribbean Countries” (20-22 July, 2016).  Participants will 1) share experiences and learnings on the implementation of fiscal policies and marketing and labelling regulations for the prevention of overweight and obesity, 2) analyse the socio-political scenario and present future opportunities to implement such measures in the Caribbean; and 3) develop strategic country-level work plans for the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of such fiscal and regulatory policies.