More facts, figures and implementation ideas
The Port of Spain evaluation on NCDs contains a wealth of detail and recommendations on the way forward in the multisectoral challenge to the epidemic of chronic diseases in the Caribbean. Here is a wide-ranging but easily digestible look at the situation in a number of critical areas and what can and should be done next. There will be more to come!


Uniting to Stop the NCD Epidemic – Time to Accelerate Action - Action Plan for NCDs emerges from Implementation Workshop

Photo Credit: Shari John


Non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and stroke, are the main causes of death in the Caribbean region

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz


Every year 250,000 people in the Caribbean die from NCDs, 100,000 of them before the age of 70


NCDs pose a major threat to both the health and future of the region and could seriously effect hard-won development gains

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz


In CARICOM states diabetes and high blood pressure alone account for up to 8% of GDP

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz


In 2007 CARICOM Heads of State signed a landmark Declaration to tackle the epidemic of NCDs


The Port of Spain Declaration promotes policies and behaviours that encourage the pursuit of better health on an individual, community, national and regional level

© PAHO-WHO/David Spitz


1 in 2 men and 3 in 4 women in the Caribbean are either overweight or obese

© fotolia/rubberball/igp



The Port of Spain Declaration on Non-communicable Diseases: the path to a healthier Caribbean

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 will answer these critical questions.

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Latest Updates

  • IMG_9021

    More facts, figures and implementation ideas

    The Port of Spain evaluation on NCDs contains a wealth of detail and recommendations on the way forward in the multisectoral challenge to the epidemic of chronic diseases in the Caribbean. Here is a wide-ranging but easily digestible look at the situation in a number of critical areas and what can and should be done […]

  • Island Grill eco friendly packaging

    Island Grill changing the way we eat

    If we are really to make a difference in the region’s NCD epidemic we have change the way a lot of us eat. One example of a restaurant trying to turn the tide is ‘Island Grill’ in Kingston, Jamaica. They don’t call their products ‘fast food’ – they prefer the term ‘quick service food’- and […]

  • COHSOD 2015

    NCDs central to COHSOD meeting

    Non-communicable diseases will be 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 will be to agree on revised priorities for the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration on NCDs […]

  • Caribbean Wellness Day 2016

    Caribbean Wellness Day 2016

    Healthy Children in Healthy Environments is the theme of this year’s Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD). Since 2008, on every second Saturday in September people, organisations and communities from all over the region have come together for CWD to strengthen the all-of-society response to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), promoting healthy living, activities and programmes that support wellness. […]

  • TT Civil Society Group

    Trinidad and Tobago: civil society rises to the NCD challenge

    The multisectoral response to the NCD epidemic in Trinidad and Tobago was given a welcome boost recently when a host of civil society organisations met in Port of Spain to discuss accelerating action against chronic diseases. Held on July 28, the meeting brought together some 50 dieticians, faith-based organisations, campaigning charities, disability action groups, the […]

  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot President World Medical Association

    Social determinants of health: inequality is a mass killer

    Social determinants of health: inequality is a mass killer, says top academic. Most of the burden of ill health is socially determined and “social injustice is killing on a grand scale,” Professor Sir Michael Marmot, President of the World Medical Association told a rapt audience in Port of Spain this weekend. Speaking at the Trinidad […]

  • Christina Howitt

    Getting fitter: why we all plan to start ‘tomorrow’

    The vast majority of Barbadians, six out of 10 men and an alarming nine out of 10 women, get too little exercise and this is having severe consequences for the health of the nation. At a recent public meeting, a panel including fitness experts, town planners, civil society organisations, physical education and health promotion officers and […]

  • CARICOM Communique

    CARICOM pledges stronger action on NCDs

    Good news for the NCD response in the Caribbean! The communiqué issued at the thirty-seventh CARICOM Heads of Government Conference (July 4-6) places chronic diseases firmly on the leaders’ agenda in the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the Port of Spain Declaration on NCDs. Noting that progress on the epidemic has been “variable”, the […]

  • Dr Alafia Samuels, Director, Chronic Disease Research Centre

    Jamaica has a ‘man problem’

    Kingston, Jamaica, 28 June, 2016: Sudden, unexpected deaths, especially among middle-aged Jamaican and Caribbean men is often due to undiagnosed and untreated high blood pressure: the number one risk factor for heart attack and stroke in the region and globally. This was one of the stark messages emerging from a key meeting held in Kingston […]

  • Alafia Samuels

    We need to do much more on childhood obesity

    We need to do much more on childhood obesity to tackle NCDs, says top expert Childhood obesity is a growing problem across the Caribbean and needs to be addressed if the epidemic of non-communicable diseases is to be brought under control, argued Dr Alafia Samuels, Director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC) in a […]

Port of Spain evaluation: Major results revealed

Do you want to know how we’re doing as a region in the challenge to NCDs? What’s going well? Where could we improve? How exactly do we speed up action?

These ‘evidence briefs’, emerging from the Port of Spain Declaration evaluation answer these questions.

The document takes each of the six research objectives of the evaluation, explores them in detail and suggests action points. In the final chapter a draft plan for the way forward is set out.

The evaluation of the Port of Spain Declaration has three main phases, the first phase being ‘undertaking new studies to investigate the impact of the Declaration’. This document presents the core findings from phase one, which were considered at the regional implementation workshop, in Port of Spain, February 24th and 25th 2016.


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POS Declaration

Declaration of Port-Of-Spain: Uniting to Stop the Epidemic Of Chronic NCDs

We, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 15 September 2007 on the occasion of a special Regional Summit on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs);Conscious of the collective actions which have in the past fuelled regional integration, the goal of which is to enhance the well-being of the citizens of our countries;

Recalling the Nassau Declaration (2001), that “the health of the Region is the wealth of Region”, which underscored the importance of health to development;

Inspired by the successes of our joint and several efforts that resulted in the Caribbean being the first Region in the world to eradicate poliomyelitis and measles;


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Public perceptions of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

What does the public understand about NCDs? Have they heard of them? What are their experiences of them and how do they feel they touch their lives?

This was the question that Dr Anique Atherley, a Junior Research Fellow at the University of the West Indies and a group of researchers set out to answer in a quick research project focusing on short street interviews with Barbadian men and women. They captured a variety of opinions in a variety of settings around the island.

Here is a selection of their voices.

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Living with cancer: Michelle’s story

Michelle O'Kieffe

Michelle O’Kieffe was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 32. Having been in remission for many years, she is determined to improve support for women living with cancer in Trinidad and Tobago. Here is her story.

My name is Michelle O’Kieffe and I live in Trinidad. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2000 at the age of 32.

I discovered a small lump just below my right breast. When I went to get it checked out the doctors were more panicked than I was. I didn’t have a clue that it could be cancer. There was no history of it in my family and I was young, 121 pounds, I didn’t smoke, I was vegetarian, really active.

But when I got the diagnosis, that the cancer had already spread, I took it in my stride. I saw it as another challenge, another hurdle to get over. If anything it was harder on my mum who was alive at the time. She took all the worry, all the emotion, asked all the questions that I didn’t want to ask.

It was hard on my husband and kids as well. I had two sons Christopher aged 12 and Christian 6. I started preparing them for what might happen.

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"We need to urgently tackle NCDs in our region and the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration helps us rise to the challenge. We are now evaluating the Declaration to find out where we have succeeded and where we can do better as we strive for a healthier Caribbean"
Dr Rudolph Cummings, Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

"The epidemic of non-communicable diseases is the pre-eminent public health challenge in the Caribbean. But the response goes far beyond health. That’s why we need a multisectoral approach that involves the whole-of-government and the whole-of-society. The Port of Spain Declaration evaluation helps guide us in what each sector should be doing to respond more effectively"
Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)

"There are those who can make lifestyle adjustments to challenge NCDs but there are other people who can’t do this on their own. We need government policy to address the realities of the typical man and woman in the Caribbean who has real difficulty making healthy choices because of the environment they live in"
Dr Patrick Martin, Chief Medical Officer, St Kitts and Nevis

"I often speak about the connection between spirituality and health, drawing attention to the theological notion that God Almighty cares about the whole person; about our immortal souls and our bodies. So we need to take care of them. We need to eat better, be active and reduce stress"
Canon Noel Burke, Rector of St David’s Church, Barbados

"The emotional impact of Trevor’s Illness is very profound, for example, the moments of sadness… especially when I think of the many things he was capable of and the many plans he had for the future. I miss our conversations too"
Beverley Redhead, commenting on life after husband Trevor’s stroke

"As a church elder, I preach that God wants us to look after ourselves not only spiritually but physically too. Our health is important to Him and it should be to us as well"
Priscilla Prevost, Health Coordinator for the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh - day Adventists

"As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Port of Spain Declaration in 2017, its evaluation allows us the opportunity to review the state of implementation of the 27 commitments and to reflect on the lessons learned, as we scale up our efforts to tackle the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean"
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)