• The Port of Spain Declaration: the path to a healthier Caribbean

Barbados Marathon 2015 - Credit: Simon Drvaric

In 2007, CARICOM leaders signed the ground-breaking Port of Spain Declaration aimed at uniting to stop the epidemic of NCDs.  Now this Declaration is being evaluated by a team of top experts.

Are these ambitious commitments being met?

What are the successes and challenges?

The evaluation answers these critical questions.

The Port of Spain Declaration has 15 mandates and 27 commitments which include improving surveillance; controlling tobacco; reducing risk factors; improving access to high-quality medical care; establishing NCD Commissions and launching an annual Caribbean Wellness Day.

The Declaration also spearheaded global action, paving the way for the global United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2011.

Who is conducting the evaluation?

An international team of academics, researchers and practitioners is looking at lessons learned that will accelerate implementation of the Declaration. The project is coordinated by the University of the West Indies, on behalf of CARICOM and the Pan American Health Organization, and funded by the International Development Research Centre.

What do the detailed objectives explore?

·         Trends in risk factors, deaths and disability

·         National policy responses to NCDs

·         Regional policy responses to NCDs

·         The international impact of the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration

·         Arrangements for ongoing surveillance of NCD deaths and disability

·         Financing NCD prevention and control in CARICOM: potential revenue from tobacco and alcohol taxes

The project involves all 20 CARICOM members, with in-depth case studies in: Antigua, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The first major milestone was a high-level regional implementation workshop, held in Trinidad and Tobago in February 2016, which helped chart the way forward and accelerate action. The results of this workshop— and the entire evaluation—were reported to regional Minsters of Health in May and September and CARICOM Heads of Government 2017.

Read more about the workshop here.