Heart disease knows no boundaries as it affects individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. The Caribbean Region is not immune to the burden of this disease. The incidence of heart disease in the Region is on the rise, particularly among younger populations. This increase is often attributed to changes in lifestyle, including a shift towards diets high in processed foods, limited physical activity, and increased rates of tobacco use.
“The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) recognizes the urgency of this issue and has been working tirelessly to combat it. In collaboration with regional partners, CARPHA has implemented initiatives like the Caribbean Expanded Salt Initiative to reduce salt consumption and the Six-Point Policy Package to address childhood obesity, a critical contributor to heart disease risk. These programs aim to raise awareness, educate the public, and implement policies that promote heart-healthy behaviors,” said Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at CARPHA.
World Heart Day, observed annually on 29th September, serves as a reminder of the need to prioritize heart health on a global scale. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) including heart diseases and stroke, their risk factors, and the importance of prevention and timely intervention. It encourages individuals, communities, and governments to take action and promote heart-healthy lifestyles. This year’s campaign Know Heart, Use Heart, focuses on the essential step of knowing our hearts first.
The most significant risk factors driving premature death and disability from CVDs are poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and obesity. Several Caribbean countries have seen a rise in the prevalence of heart disease and related risk factors. These risk factors include hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, and diabetes.
The prevalence and incidence of heart disease can vary among countries and territories within the Caribbean. Factors such as healthcare infrastructure, access to healthcare services, and socioeconomic conditions contribute to these variations. However, with the implementation of the Caribbean (Regional) NCD Surveillance System, countries will be able to provide information on the region’s prevention, management, and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The access to high-quality data through this framework will also help to inform public health efforts and interventions to address this critical health issue of heart disease.
Dr. Heather Armstrong, Head, Chronic Disease and Injury at CARPHA: “Individuals play a fundamental role in reducing the burden of heart disease. Understanding your personal risk factors is your first step towards a healthier heart. Regular health check-ups can provide valuable insights into your heart’s condition. You can significantly lower your risk by adopting heart-healthy lifestyles, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and stress management. Communities can create environments that support these choices by providing safe spaces for exercise, access to fresh and nutritious foods, and education on the importance of heart health.”
Some simple actions you can take for a healthier heart:
CARPHA calls on everyone – Caribbean Governments, civil society groups, regional organisations, and communities to take action. Establish, enforce, and protect NCDs prevention policies, and demonstrate your commitment to enhancing the quality of your life and that of your loved ones.
Take a moment today to show some love to your heart…because we love and protect only what we know.
Trinidad Makes Big Energy Commitment
#TrinidadandTobago#Energy, February 20th, 2024 – To diversify its energy mix as well as its economy, Trinidad and Tobago is putting focus on energy transition for development, working on a solar project which will potentially change energy production for the nation.
This was announced by Prime Minister Keith Rowley at the opening of the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024 in Guyana on February 19th.
Expressing that energy is the center of economic development, Rowley highlights why this development is significant. He says in order to transform the energy system to cater to the growing demand for energy while decreasing global emissions, a broad mix of energy is needed.
He further mentions that this is what’s required of producer economies like Trinidad and Tobago for development.
Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More
#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity.
The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”
They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.
And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.
Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.
Why the Haitian President’s Wife – Martine Moïse – was charged with his 2021 Assassination
#Haiti, February 21, 2024 – Martine Moïse, the widow of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, is being charged for involvement in his July 2021 murder, according to recent reports on Monday February 19th, 2024.
In his report, Haitian Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire reveals there were questionable actions related to Martine Moïse as well as statements that simply didn’t add up.
For instance, Voltaire states that she mentions hiding under the marital bed for safety during the attack on her husband, but authorities expressed that this claim is illogical, saying that a giant rat measuring “between 35 and 45 centimeters,” could not fit under the bed.
This is due to the fact that the gap between the bed and the floor was 14 to 18 inches, according to the indictment.
Considering these revelations, Voltaire states that her claims were “so tainted with contradictions that they leave something to be desired and discredit her.”
There are other suspicious actions by Mrs. Moïse, reported by the Judge, as revealed by Lyonel Valbrun, former Secretary General of the National Palace.
Voltiare’s report says Valbrun claimed there was pressure from the late President’s wife to make available to Claude Joseph, former Prime Minister, office space for the organization of a Council of Ministers. Additionally, Valbrun reported that Martine Moïse dedicated hours to remove objects from the Palace during the days leading up to her husband’s murder.
The accusations against Mrs. Moïse, reports say, are also based on information from Joseph Badio, former official in Haiti’s Justice Ministry, who is accused of being involved in planning the Haitian president’s 2021 assassination.
According to the indictment, linked in Voltaire’s 122 page report highlights Badio “outing” Mrs. Moïse for plotting with others, Joseph included, to kill her husband to gain power.
Joining Joseph and Moïse with charges is Léon Charles, ex-chief of Haiti’s National Police, carrying the worst of the charges including, murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy against the state’s internal security, and involvement in criminal associations.
Haitian-American pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, former DEA informant Joseph Vincent, presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard, former senator John Joël Joseph, and judge Windelle Coq, are also among the accused, some already sentenced and some handed over to the US to face Federal charges.
Media reports have exposed that after a two and a half year investigation, there are still unanswered questions. And, despite going into details about the assassination, it fails to reveal the motive behind it and how it was financed.
A separate case on Moise’s killing is being tried in Miami.
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