The Grenada National Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission

by HCC
The Grenada National Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission
Commission Profile
Status as at June 2019Active
NameThe Grenada National Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission
Date of establishment20 June 2010
Date of first meetingJuly 2010 (This was the first meeting of the Commission, following more than 10 years as a precursor “National Advisory Committee on CNCD”)
Date of last meeting19 August 2016
Number of meetings over past 12 months11
Chairperson’s nameDr. Damian Greaves
TitleAssociate Professor
Organisational affiliationSt. George's University
Duration of tenureChair since April 2017
Summary of steps taken to establish the CommissionIdentification of key sectors; Cabinet appointment of Members and Chair
  • Was there a planning group, (e.g. Task Force, Committee or other “precursor body”) that worked to establish the Commission?
  • If so, does the group still exist?
  • If it does, what is its relationship with the Commission/Coordinating Mechanism?
There was an analogous body that existed with the Ministry of Health (MoH), which consisted primarily of members of the MoH. This group ceased to exist once the Commission was established
Are there recommended profiles or desired characteristics for Commission Chair and Commissioners?Members were appointed on the basis of positions or representations of institutions
Were these applied in selecting the Chair and Commissioners?More or less
If yes, to what extent do the Chair and Commissioners satisfy them? Fully? To a large extent? To some extent?To a large extent
Legal authority/referenceCabinet appointment
Location(sector/entity)St. George’s University (SGU) until June 2016
Mandate/Scope of workNo
Terms of referenceYes
Conflict of interest policyDoes not exist
Code of ethicsDoes not exist
Standard operating proceduresDo not exist
NNCDC strategic plan/plan of actionDoes not exist
Decision-making process (consensus, majority, other)Majority
Government sector membership and level of representationMinistries of Health, Agriculture, Education; Grenada Food and Nutrition Council; Government Information Service
Civil society membership and level of representationTrade union; health NGOs; faith-based organisations; sports groups; women’s groups; college; university; Grenada Nurses’ Association; Grenada Medical Association; Grenada Cancer Society
Private sector membership and level of representationPrivate health sector; Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Ex officio membersChief Medical Officer, Senior Medical Officer, Chief Health Planner, Chief Pharmacist, Chief Nursing Officer
Secretariat exists? If so, please give date of establishmentPseudo-secretariat at SGU until June 2016
Full-time human resources/functionsNo
Part-time human resources/functionsNo
Main functions (advisory, accountability, strategic planning, project/programme implementation, other)Advisory
Main areas of interventions for NCDs and NCD risk factorsPolicy recommendations
Other health issues that the NCD/Wellness Commission /Wellness Coordinating Mechanism addressesAll issues related to NCDs
  • 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?
Framework(s) of reference (national policy, strategy or plan; international plans/strategies)Port-of Spain Declaration
Focus of interventions (legislation, taxation, policy development, project/programme development, project/programme implementation, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, other)Policy recommendations
Work groups/subcommittees/task forces and their functionsAs the occasion arises
Accountability mechanisms (periodicity of monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and to whom; financial accountability mechanisms)Biannual reports to the Minister of Health
Main successesMonthly meetings; production of biannual reports; participation in Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) activities; discussions of NCD themes; participation in public education activities
Success factorsExcellent Chair, committed members, appropriate meeting facility, diversity of discussion topics
  • 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)
Ministry of Agriculture, faith-based organisations, trade union movements, and business representations all participated in activities recommended by the Commission, e.g. CWD
Main challengesInconsistent attendance at meetings by some members; lack of secretariat
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?
Briefing the new Minister on the existence of the Commission.
Inviting the new PS and Minister to a meeting of the Commission.
Partnerships, technical cooperation (TC) – please summarize partners and relevant TC areasNone
Main source(s) of funding and approximate percentage of funding from each sourceNone
Indicative annual budget (USD)None
Resource mobilisation, main areasNone
Mechanisms for sustainabilityDedication of membership

The GRD NCNCD Commission meets monthly, but has no dedicated technical or professional staff of its own, no strategic plan, no specific budget, and limited access to Cabinet. However, it has easy access to the Minister of Health, and the Chief Medical Officer and a Senior Medical Officer are members of the Commission. Despite its challenges, the Commission has been extremely productive, and St. George’s University, the entity from which the former Commission Chair came, provided a well-resourced meeting venue and administrative support.

The critical importance of strong leadership is evident in the success of this Commission; the former Chair demonstrated unwavering commitment, despite significant competing priorities, facilitating smooth transitions from one political administration to another. The Commission produces and submits biannual reports.

This Commission has catalysed trade unions, churches, media, and public and private employers to celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day annually, with resource mobilisation undertaken by relevant sectors for the implementation of activities. Public education activities included a series of twice weekly radio programmes on NCDs and three public consultations. However, key challenges of the GRD NCNCDC, as with many others, are limitations in human and financial resources.

Grenada National NCD Commission Hosts 1-day Retreat to Revitalise the Commission and Chart a Strategic Path Forward

On Saturday February 3rd, 2018 the Grenada National NCD Commission (NNCDC) held a 1-day retreat to revise the NNCDC Terms of Reference and to produce a 2-year action plan to guide their work in support of the Grenada National Action Plan for the Prevention of Chronic Non Communicable Diseases.

The retreat was led by NNCDC Chair Dr. Damian Greaves who assumed the post in 2017 following, interim Chair Dr. Sonia Nixon, NCD Focal point who assumed the position after the departure of the previous longstanding Chair, Dr. Omowale Amuleru-Marshall. The retreat was held at the St. George’s University, where the commission has had its home for many years. SGU Provost Dr. Joseph Childers underscored the institution’s support and commitment to the NNCDC in his opening remarks.

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Grenada NNCDC Observership

(Left to right) Dr. Damian Greaves, Chair of the Grenada NNCDC, Dr. Joseph Childers, Provost at St. George’s University, , The Hon. Nickolas Steele, Minister for Health, Social Security and International Business, Grenada and Sir Trevor Hassell, HCC President & Chair of the Barbados National Commission on CNCDs

Barbados National NCD Commission Hosts the National Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission of Grenada

The HCC and partners have been continuing their work in the region aimed at supporting the multisectoral response through the strengthening National NCD Commissions (NNCDCs) or their equivalents.  On January 11-12, 2018 Dr. Damian Greaves, Chair Grenada NNCDC and Dr. Sonia Nixon, Senior Medical Officer of Health for NCDs, Grenada and past interim NNCDC chair, visited Barbados for a 2 day site visit/observership with the Barbados National NCD Commission.

‘This session for us over the last 2 days has been totally engaging and eye opening. I am leaving very ‘buoyed up’ and highly motivated.’ Dr. Damian Greaves, Chair  of the Grenada NNCDC.

‘I am very grateful to HCC and the Barbados NNCDC.  This experience can only enhance the forward movement of the commission.’ Dr. Sonia Nixon, Senior Medical Officer of Health for NCDs.

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The Grenada NNCDC team

The Grenada NNCDC team meets with members of the Barbados NNCDC, including Denise Carter Taylor, Dr Arthur Phillips, Sheena Edwards and Donna Carter, whilst participating in the PAHO NCD update webinar, led by Dr Tomo Kanda, mental health and NCD advisor

Grenada NNCDC Strengthening Mission

The collaboration between the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) and the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) aimed at establishing or strengthening National NCD Commissions in the Caribbean continued with a mission to Grenada 3-4 October 2016. As part of the technical cooperation (TC) being undertaken through this collaboration, HCC consultant Dr. Beverley Barnett visited the country to hold discussions with Ministry of Health officials and the Grenada National Chronic Non-communicable Disease Commission (NCNCDC), and provide guidance for enhancing the functioning of the Commission.

The objectives of the mission also included determining future TC needs of the NCNCDC and obtaining feedback on the draft Framework for the Establishment and Strengthening of National NCD Commissions: Towards a More Effective Multisectoral Response to NCDs, Part II (the Implementation Framework, IF).

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Grenada NNCDC Strengthening

L to R: Dr. George Mitchell, CMO; Dr. Bev. Barnett, HCC Consultant; Hon. Nikolas Steele, Minister of Health and International Business, Grenada; Dr. Sonia Nixon, NCD Focal Point and Interim NCNCDC Chair.

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