• COHSOD: Making progress in the NCD response

Dr Alafia Samuels

Non-communicable diseases were high on the agenda at the 30th meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). Taking place at PAHO Headquarter in Washington on 24-25 September, one of the key elements of the meeting agreed on revised priorities for the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration on NCDs.

A report on the wide-ranging evaluation of the Port of Spain Declaration was presented to Ministers of Health on September 25 by Dr Alafia Samuels, the head of the evaluation project and Director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre. The document set out the major research findings and ways of accelerating action in the NCD response. Dr Samuels also revealed a set of ‘asks’ specific to Ministers of Health to strengthen the challenge to chronic diseases on a national and regional level.

These ‘asks’ mirrored the commitments made at the July 2016 CARICOM Heads of Government meeting which pledged to address key issues such as  the banning of smoking in public places;  trade-related measures; banning advertising of potentially harmful foods which specifically target children; and  elevating taxes on foods high in sugar, salt and trans fats.

In addition, Dr Samuels briefed CARICOM health officials on the evaluation and the regional NCD response.

The COHSOD meeting explored new initiatives for preventing NCDs and a rational approach to NCD treatment across CARICOM. There was also focus on a variety of health and development issues, such as reviewing and giving policy directives on priority health system initiatives.

Dr. Alafia Samuels speaking at COHSOD 2016 watch here.

Dr. Alafia Samuels Presenting POSDEVAL Report watch here.

Professor Sir Trevor Hassell speaking at COHSOD watch here.

For more information on the Port of Spain evaluation click here.

For a closer look at taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, have a look at this Healthy Caribbean Coalition/ NCD Alliance policy brief here.

More images from COHSOD