Willemstad, Curacao, 30 April 2019. The
Regional Health Communications Network (RHCN) made up of communications and
health promotion specialists from across the English, French and Dutch
Caribbean countries and territories, met from 29 to 30 April to develop
region-wide public education campaigns to address non-communicable diseases
(NCDs) and wellness.
The RHCN was established by the Caribbean Public Health Agency
(CARPHA) in 2015 to develop, implement, sustain, monitor and evaluate
communication responses to priority health issues in the Region.
Ministers of Health have long recognised the critical role communication plays
in health. In 2016, Ministers at the Thirtieth Meeting of the Council for Human
and Social Development (COHSOD) proposed a region-wide comprehensive,
sustained, evidence-based public education campaign, using traditional and new
media to address NCDs and wellness.
its inception, the RHCN has positioned itself as the lead body on public health
communications in the Region driving various public health messages for healthy
lifestyles in the Caribbean. The Network serves to assist policy makers
in CARPHA Member States to make informed decisions about public health concerns
in the Region,” said Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of
CARPHA, in collaboration with the Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Organisation for
Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, hosted a 2-day Curacao meeting with
the aim to adapt culturally appropriate and effective pre-existing information,
education and communications (IEC) materials to promote diabetes awareness and
adoption of healthy lifestyles. The OECS Commission, under the World
Diabetes Foundation funded project ‘OECS Diabetes Prevention and Care’, will be
using the adapted IEC materials to support a year-long mass media campaign.
collective and partnership approach, the RHCN will contribute to the
achievement of objectives defined in the CARPHA Strategic Plan, and the
Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH) which will result in healthier outcomes
for all peoples of the Caribbean thorough empowerment and information.
Over the two days, the successes of the Network were highlighted, and
participants drafted a regional communications strategy and action plan (2019 –
2021) and developed a communications strategy to support the CCH IV