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From Port-of-Spain Summit to United Nations High Level Meeting: CARICOM and the Global Non-communicable Disease Agenda

Journal Authors: 
The English-speaking Caribbean has the highest per capita burden of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) in the region of the Americas. Building on a long history of cooperation in health among the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and past successes in eliminating/reducing communicable diseases through collective action, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have now been targeted. CARICOM convened a “first-in-the-world” summit of Heads of Government to address NCDs, which generated the Port-of-Spain NCD Summit Declaration, “Uniting to Stop The Epidemic of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases”. This 15-point declaration calls on all of government, civil society and the private sector to jointly tackle the common risk factors for the major chronic diseases, and improve the care of such diseases. Implementation of this declaration has been mixed, being most successful where there were regional supports, and in countries with populations > 250 000 reflecting country capacity. CARICOM has elevated this approach to the global level through successful advocacy for a United Nations High Level Meeting on NCDs to be convened in September 2011. Jamaica will be one of two co-facilitators of this meeting, a reflection of the role of CARICOM countries in advancing the NCD agenda at the global level. CARICOM Heads of Government should attend this meeting, showcase the implementation of the NCD Summit Declaration in the Caribbean, commit to enhancing systems and resources, endorse and implement the commitments made and identify and support leadership for sustained action and accountability for these initiatives.
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e-Published: 29 Jan, 2014
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