Sagicor Life Inc has once again committed funding for the operations of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) through an extension of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Through the MOU, Sagicor Life Inc will provide funding over the next three years, to the HCC which coordinates an alliance of regional, non-governmental organisations, as they develop and implement plans for the prevention and management of chronic diseases.
Originally established in 2012 for a three year period, the MOU was extended in 2015, for an additional three years, until 2018. In keeping with a recent call from Sagicor for the Private Sector to lend its voice and influence to the fight against chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the regional insurance company views the extension of the MOU as a major component in its efforts to sensitise Caribbean citizens about the threat of NCDs.
The prevalence of NCDs in the region such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, stroke and cancer continues to be a growing concern for countries through the Caribbean. Edward Clarke, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sagicor Life Inc Barbados Operations, expressed his thoughts on the extension, “Sagicor Life Inc is very proud of the progress that the Healthy Caribbean Coalition has made over the past six years of our partnership.
Our funding has enabled the HCC to establish, and maintain, a Secretariat which manages the organisation’s activities. As a result, we have witnessed the development of valuable research such as the Cervical Cancer Advocacy Handbook for Civil Societies, regional forums around non-communicable diseases, initiatives to garner public support for health legislation and most importantly, programmes of action by non-governmental organisations across the region.
The extension of our MOU is therefore a continuation of our support, not only for the HCC but for the health and wellness of Caribbean people.” President of the HCC, Professor Sir Trevor Hassell echoed the sentiments of Mr. Clarke, “The extension of the Memorandum of Understanding by Sagicor in support of the operations of the HCC, represents not only Sagicor’s recognition of the critically important, regional civil society role played by HCC in advancing national and regional efforts of NCD prevention and control, but is additionally an international best practice of the multi-sectoral response to the NCD epidemic.
The wider private business sector in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean, in recognition of the significant adverse health impact of NCDs and their potential to reverse developmental gains of the Region, now need to take further action and play significant positive and meaningful roles in the multi-sectoral approach to slowing the NCD epidemic”.
The HCC has now embarked on a childhood obesity campaign to highlight the need for governmental policies which address the marketing of junk foods to children. Caribbean citizens can show their support by signing online or at public booths. Signatures will be shared with the CARICOM Heads of Government at their upcoming conference in July.