Trinidad & Tobago Partners Forum for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (PAFCNCD)

by HCC
Status as at September 2023 Active
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Country Trinidad & Tobago
Name Trinidad and Tobago NCD Committee (details to follow)
Status as at September 2023 Active
Date of establishment -
Date of first meeting -
Date of last meeting -
Number of meetings over past 12 months Meetings are held monthly. Members are not paid a stipend
Chairperson’s name Dr. Maria Clapperton
Title -
Organisational affiliation -
Duration of tenure -
Legal authority/reference -
Location(sector/entity) -
Mandate/Scope of work Advocacy, advise on policy / legislation / programmes, implementation of programmes, monitoring and evaluation. There is no explicit mandate for research or resource mobilization or for review of quality of hospital NCD services.
Terms of reference No
Conflict of interest policy No
Code of ethics No
Standard operating procedures No
NNCDC strategic plan/plan of action Yes
Decision-making process (consensus, majority, other) -
Membership and Personnel 2 ex-officio and 20 members
Government sector membership and level of representation Bureau of Standards, Ministries of Consumer Affairs, Trade, Agriculture and Education.
Civil society membership and level of representation University of the West Indies, Women’s groups, Sports groups, Faith-based organizations, Trade Union, Health NGOs.
Private sector membership and level of representation Private health sector, Health insurance, Employers Consultative Assoc.
Ex officio members NCD Focal Point and the Health Promotion Officer.
Secretariat exists? If so, please give date of establishment No
    The PAFNCD receives professional and administrative support from the Ministry of Health and budgetary support through a Ministry of Health earmarked line item
Full-time human resources/functions No
Part-time human resources/functions No
Main functions (advisory, accountability, strategic planning, project/programme implementation, other) -
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?
It has indirect relations with mental health and HIV/AIDS through the Ministry of Health
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 -
Accountability mechanisms (periodicity of monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and to whom; financial accountability mechanisms) The PAFNCD has produced an annual report and sub-committees report quarterly
Main successes
  • High level of involvement with celebrations of Caribbean Wellness Day. Insurance companies, banks and oil and gas industry also organized celebrations. Funding provided by the Ministry of Health, supplemented by private corporations
  • Getting the Ministry of Trade to adopt labelling guidelines
  • Successful national workshop with food and beverage manufacturers
  • Completion and publication of the STEPS Non-communicable Diseases Risk Factor Survey
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
  • ‘Trying to do too much for too many’. Some of the sub committees not very action oriented
  • racking of NCD activities by other agencies
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?
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 None
Indicative annual budget (USD) None
Resource mobilisation, main areas None
Mechanisms for sustainability None

The Partners Forum for NCDs (analogous body to NCD Commission) received personnel and budgetary support from the Ministry of Health and has its own strategic plan. Trinidad & Tobago is a relatively large (1.2 million) high-income country yet their Partners Forum has had several challenges in seeking to become established as a sustainable mechanism for effecting multisectoral action. Several sub-committees have been established to report to the Partners Forum and the view has been expressed that these subcommittees are not sufficiently action oriented, are possibly ‘trying to do too much for too many’ and need to have greater focus and direction. Recent reports indicate that the Forum has not been officially constituted for the past 2 years but many of the issues prioritised by the Forum when it was officially functioning are nevertheless being carried out.

Despite the absence of an officially functioning Forum (analogous body to NCD Commission), two activities aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles have been recognised: Caribbean Wellness Day and Ciclovia/Streets for Wellness.

There is a high level of involvement with celebrations of Caribbean Wellness Day carried out annually in Trinidad & Tobago. Insurance companies, banks and the oil and gas industry also organize celebrations. Funding is provided by the Ministry of Health and supplemented by private corporations.

From 2008 to present, a private Sports Goods retailer has led a community-based initiative every Sunday from 6am to 9am, blocking streets to facilitate physical activity. It is a truly multisectoral initiative: led by private sector champions; sponsored by private health insurance company; provided with logistics by the Police and ambulance services; and generally supported by Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health.

Two kilometres of the Diego Martin Highway are blocked to vehicular traffic each Sunday morning, to allow the community to use the highway to walk, ride, skate, and includes a Physical Activity class. Research has shown that knowledge of the Ciclovia and having ever participated was positively associated with achieving the recommended amount of physical activity per week. Community members give favourable account of the resulting community cohesion, and its positive impact on their own physical fitness and mental health.

Status as at December 2021 Inactive (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 -