Keep Calm. Keep Walking. Carry On.

 

 

I saw this today in my Facebook feed (Courtesy of Canada Walks via PAHO) and knew I needed to share it. It’s based on the hugely popular “Keep Calm and Carry On”. The message is very simple and clear. The behavior is simple. Yet, getting people to talk more is not always simple.

I remember growing up in Dominica, walking was the norm. I walked every day from home to school, home to church, home to the market. We lived close enough to town that walking was easy.  Now, when I go back, everyone wants to take the bus or use the car. Who’s still walking?

So, go on a share this mantra. Keep Calm. Keep Walking. Carry On.

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Healthy Caribbean 2012: Rallying for action on NCDs (Part 1)

Image

On May 28 and 29 2012 I had the opportunity to attend the Healthy Caribbean Coalition‘s (HCC) Non Communicable Disease (NCD) PreventionImage and Strategic planning workshop for civil society organizations, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston Jamaica. About 13 Caribbean territories were present at the workshop, with over 100 representatives from Ministries of Health, various non governmental societies (e.g. diabetes and cancer associations), the private sector, international and regional agencies and academia.

ImageOf special note in attendance was Jamaican Minister of Education, the Honourable Ronald Thwaites who set the tone of the event early, declaring his Ministry’s full commitment to partner with the HCC. He spoke about the “bulla and bag juice’ culture in school feeding in Jamaica and it probable impacts on a child’s poor educational and health outcomes. He stated his intention to address these and other issues this and requested support from the Coalition for the development of the education curriculum which will include messages and activities to persuade students about the advantages of healthy living.

Sir George Alleyne, who, by the end of the workshop was declared Patron of the HCC, advocated for “the NCD approach” which is a “determined, sustained effort to address NCDs  subsuming sectoral and organizational hubris to a united collective focus on the task of prevention and control of NCDs in the Caribbean”.

Communications lessons coming from the Healthy Caribbean Coalition campaign:

The campaign of the HCC has been not only one the the best branded health campaigns of the region, but also innovative and participative.

The “Get the Message” campaign was a mobile phone text message campaign started by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition to raise awareness about NCDs and the UN High-level Meeting. Working with only volunteers, the campaign set out to get 1 million text messages in support for NCDs from people in 17 Caribbean countries. People simply had to text “yes” to a specific number and by partnering with mobile phone providers, there was no cost involved. The campaign ran television and radio PSAs, worked with local radio stations and concert venues, leveraged Facebook and Twitter, and staged two all day text-a-thons. Although the goal was to reach 1 million text messages, in reality, nothing like this has been done before. After five months, they have received over 460,000 text messages.Considered a success, the organizers offer key takeaway points for people wishing to engage in similar efforts:
1.  Any campaign should educate their audience in addition to asking them to engage – people cannot only ask their audience to “text, text, text” but instead ask them after teaching them about the issue.
2.  Also the campaign tailored its messaging to the individual needs of the 17 countries involved. Because a campaign like this is likely to involve NGOs, volunteers, and several for-profit companies, key stakeholders should be identified early on and their roles established. Although new, raising awareness about NCDs through the Get the Message campaign proved successful and hopefully reproducible in other parts of the world.

[adapted from Procor website)

In Part 2 of this post I will explore some topics relevant to health communications in the region which came out  of this meeting.

The voice and experience of the Caribbean Islands towards sustainable development

DE Seminar Series towards Rio+20
Sustainable Development and Environmental Health – SDE – PAHO/WHO

The voice and experience of the Caribbean Islands towards sustainable
development

Ninth Seminar: 4 April 2012 – PAHO/WHO Rio+20

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Eastern Standard Time (Washington DC USA)

To check local time in WDC against your time zone, see the World Clock
at:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
<http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html>

Website PAHO/WHO Rio+20 at: http://bit.ly/oxoRdS <http://bit.ly/oxoRdS>

“The picture of the Caribbean as an idyllic paradise is an appropriate
one for promoting the area to the outside world and one that most
nationals in the diaspora retain with fondness and nostalgia. The
physical attributes often shown are real, but they sometimes hide the
struggle that many citizens must make to acquire the necessities for a
decent living against the background of the reality”.

(From Report of the Caribbean commission on health and development,
CARICOM and PAHO, 2006)EMCONET <http://bit.ly/HAXTqh>

We all know that a healthy population is an essential prerequisite for
economic growth and stability of the Caribbean and we recall the Nassau
Declaration (2001), which underscored the importance of health to
development which states that “Health of a Nation is the wealth of a
Nation”.

Additionally challenges specific to the Caribbean and Small Island
States call for a constant attention to preserving the gains made
through sustainable development. In the Caribbean, specific
vulnerabilities exist such as size (while the problems are not less than
in larger countries, the opportunities from economies of scale are not
there) and fragility of the economic base, with tourism being the main
source of income and employment in most of the islands. Furthermore,
potential outbreaks, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, and
natural hazards such as hurricanes, now aggravated by the impact of
climate change, are accentuating the vulnerability for the Region.

Sustainable tourism -tourism attempting to make a low impact on the
environment and local culture, while helping to generate future
employment for local people and aiming to ensure that development brings
a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the
tourists themselves- is an imperative for the Caribbean countries. Any
ecological or environmental crisis, be it an oil spill, a cholera
outbreak or a leak of pesticides, can have a devastating effect for the
environment, the inhabitants of the islands and the economy.

Finally, the speed of demographic transition in the Caribbean is
unprecedented. By 2030, in many countries in the Caribbean the number of
persons aged 60 or over will be 2.5 to 3.5 times as large as it was in
2000. As things stand, for the next three to five decades the speed of
ageing in the region will continue on a singularly rapid course, a
result of the momentum of demographic forces set in motion long ago. The
other aspect of demographic transition is the rapid decline of fertility
rates which leads to a decrease in the younger population and a trend
towards an increased population of older age groups. This phenomenon is
further aggravated by the migration dynamics within and outside the
region and will have major implications for pension schemes and social
protection interventions among others.

The Caribbean has often been in the forefront in leading innovative and
important processes, as recently proven again when the Region was
operational in motivating the High Level UN NCD summit. It is now time
to examine where the Caribbean health movement stands when it comes to
sustainable development in the light of the Rio+20 Summit.

Agenda

12:00    Welcome and introduction: Gerry Eijkemans, PAHO/WHO
Representative in The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos

12:05    The experience of the Caribbean in the lead up to Rio+20 and
the involvement of health; Looking back and looking forward:
Henriette Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Coordinator for Rio+20
Conference

12:20    Comments

Patrick Martin, Chief Medical Officer, St Kitts and Nevis

Hugh Sealy, St George’s University

Rudy Cummings, Head of Health Desk, CARICOM

12:35    Questions and Answers

1:00      Closing remarks and conclusions.

Moderator: Gerry Eijkemans, PAHO/WHO Representative in The Bahamas and
Turks and Caicos

How to participate:

In person:
PAHO/WHO
525 23rd ST NW
Washington DC, 20037 Room 812 – 12h to 13h Eastern Time (WDC)

Online: via Elluminate link:

– Spanish room: www.paho.org/virtual/SeminariosSDE
<http://www.paho.org/virtual/SeminariosSDE>

– English room www.paho.org/virtual/SDESeminars
<http://www.paho.org/virtual/SDESeminars>

SDE Seminar Series towards Rio+20

“Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.

They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with
nature” – Principle 1 of the Rio…..” Declaration on Environment and
Development, 1992.

The Rio Declaration of 1992 recognizes that healthy populations are
central to human progress and sustainable development, and remains
equally true today. However, the economic pillar has been prioritized at
the expense of the social and environmental pillars of sustainable
development over the last few decades, becoming itself a source of
volatility and destabilization.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, now
offers an opportunity to re-examine the relationship between health and
sustainable development. The proposed SDE Seminar series towards Rio+20
aim at contributing to this important debate by bringing different
themes of relevance to sustainable development and health to inform all
areas of the Pan American Organization about the themes under discussion
in the Rio Conference, but also to inform public health stakeholders and
other decision makers in the health sector, to better take part in the
debate.

The SDE Seminar series will happen every Wednesday   from 12 to 1pm
(Washington time), from February 8 to June 13th.

All Seminars will be life-streamed, and opened for participation in
person at the PAHO/WHO HQ, or via Elluminate.
Some of the Seminars will be in English, others in Spanish.

For those who cannot follow the seminar alive, they will be available
later at PAHO Rio+20 Toolkit at: http://bit.ly/oxoRdS
<http://bit.ly/oxoRdS>

Twitter http://twitter.com/eqpaho <http://twitter.com/eqpaho>

Short Bio participants

Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson, a former Minister for Energy and Environment
of Barbados, was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United
Nations as Executive Coordinator for the UNCSD Rio + 20 Conference and
assumed her duties in 7 December 2010. Ms. Thompson also served as
Minister for Physical Development and Minister for Health. Ms. Thompson
was appointed to the Barbados Senate and was a practicing attorney as
well as a journalist. In addition, she was a lecturer in ecology,
economy, energy and politics. Ms. Thompson graduated from the University
of the West Indies and obtained an MBA, with distinction, from the
University of Liverpool and a Master of Laws from Robert Gordon
University, Scotland.

Dr. Patrick Martin, a USA Certified Paediatrician (ABP) and Physician
Executive (ACPE), is the Chief Medical Officer of St Kitts and Nevis
having assumed that role in October 2004.He is a graduate of the
University of the Virgin islands and Howard University college of
Medicine. At the regional and international levels, Dr. Martin
represents St Kitts and Nevis in matters relating to public health and
its interface with sustainable development.

Dr. Hugh Sealy, a chemical engineer with a MSc in Environmental
Pollution Science and PhD in Environmental Science is a consultant with
over 25 years of experience as a project manager, a professional
engineer, an environmental scientist and a university lecturer. He was
the Chairman of the Barbados National Energy Policy Committee and the
Chairman of the National Commission on Sustainable Development for the
Government of Barbados. In January 2008, Dr. Sealy was elected as a
Member of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
under the UNFCCC. In December 2011      Dr. Sealy was reelected to the
Executive Board of the CDM to serve as the Member for the Alliance of
Small Island States (AOSIS). Currently, Dr. Sealy is an Associate
Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in
the School of Medicine at St. George’s University in Grenada.

Dr. Rudolph Cummings MD, MPH, is Health Sector Development Programme
Manager in the Directorate of Human and Social Development, CARICOM
Secretariat, Guyana. Formerly Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of
Health of Guyana, Dr. Cummings assumed office in 2007. In this post he
is responsible for the co-ordination of regional health policy (CCHIII)
across the English-speaking Caribbean, Surinam and Haiti (20 states). He
is also Principal Health Officer of the Community Secretariat, providing
policy guidance to the Secretary General and technical and policy
support to the Ministerial Council on Human and Social Development. He
also participates in the interdisciplinary agenda of the Secretariat.

Dr. Gerry Eijkemans is currently PAHO/WHO Representative in The Bahamas
and Turks and Caicos Islands. Previously, Dr. Eijkemans was PWR for
Suriname. She has 20 years of working experience at country level,
regional level and global level at PAHO, WHO and ILO in the areas of
occupational and environmental health.

KMC/2012/HSD
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*      *     *
This message from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO, is
part of an effort to disseminate
information Related to: Equity; Health inequality; Socioeconomic
inequality in health; Socioeconomic
health differentials; Gender; Violence; Poverty; Health Economics;
Health Legislation; Ethnicity; Ethics;
Information Technology – Virtual libraries; Research & Science issues.
[DD/ KMC Area]
Washington DC USA

“Materials provided in this electronic list are provided “as is”. Unless
expressly stated otherwise, the findings
and interpretations included in the Materials are those of the authors
and not necessarily of The Pan American
Health Organization PAHO/WHO or its country members”.
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Equity List – Archives – Join/remove:
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<http://listserv.paho.org/Archives/equidad.html>
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Communications for change: How to use text messaging as an effective behavior change campaigning tool

Produced by FrontlineSMS and Text to Change – February 2012

Available online at: http://bit.ly/GFFUR0 

SMS can be an extremely effective campaigning tool, helping to drive positive social change by increasing awareness of key issues and giving people the information they need to take their well- being into their own hands. SMS is ideal for these types of campaigns in many ways: it is immediate and intimate, coming straight to a device you carry with you most of the time. It works even in places where other digital communications channels fail; and, if received at the right time, it can provide an incredibly meaningful intervention. 

SMS can also be sent to many people at once, using aggregators and other service providers

However, getting SMS campaigns right is not simple. The right content, delivered at the right time in the right context, is critical. Adding the right kind of interaction to campaigns can make them more engaging, and increase their power in encouraging positive change. 

Case Study: http://bit.ly/GFG77h –FrontlineSMS and Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health

FrontlineSMS, an open source software for sending and receiving SMS (short message service), to provide a rapid prototype of a new mHealth service.

This service — called CycleTel™ — empowers women by providing them with accessible reproductive health information through SMS. CycleTel facilitates the use of the Standard Days Method® (SDM) of family planning, which is a simple fertility awareness-based method of family planning that teaches a woman to identify her fertile days each menstrual cycle and avoid unprotected sex on these days to prevent pregnancy.

By making this fertility information accessible via SMS, CycleTel helps women take charge of their reproductive health and use an effective family planning method. 

Text to Change
Text to Change sets up interactive SMS campaigns, together with NGOs and companies, focused on improving healthcare and education, stimulating economic development and creating awareness on environmental issues. Moreover, all basic phones are able to receive SMS.
To overcome the illiteracy barriers they make use of Interactive Voice Response services (IVR) as well.

• Text to Change: www.texttochange.com

• FrontlineSMS: www.frontlinesms.com 

Assessing the mobile environment:

Factors affecting the suitability of SMS and mobile for communicating with disaster-affected communities
http://bit.ly/GNPaAS 

 KMC/2012/ehealth
Twitter http://twitter.com/eqpaho

Online Seminar: Globalization & health equity towards sustainable development

SDE Seminar Series towards Rio+20

Sustainable Development and Environmental Health – SDE – PAHO/WHO

Globalization & health equity towards sustainable development

Seventh Seminar: 21 March 2012 – PAHO/WHO Rio+20 (in English with simultaneous translation to Spanish)

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Eastern Standard Time (Washington DC USA)

To check local time in WDC against your time zone, see the World Clock at:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html

Website PAHO/WHO Rio+20 at: http://bit.ly/oxoRdS

– Globalization is affecting social determinants of health and the health status of different population groups, within and between nations.

– Globalization creates new opportunities and risks for health and equity in health;

– How can the action on the social determinants enhance those opportunities and reduce those risks?

– Could the Rio+20 Conference strengthen opportunities and minimize the risks of globalization? How?

Towards Health-Equitable Globalisation: Rights, Regulation and Redistribution

Final Report to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health WHO –

Globalization Knowledge Network: Ronald Labonté (Chair); Ted Schrecker (Hub coordinator)

Final Report Writing Group: Ronald Labonté (Lead author); Chantal Blouin; Mickey Chopra; Kelley Lee; Corinne Packer; Mike Rowson;

Ted Schrecker ;David Woodward

Available online at: http://bit.ly/xY58AT

“….Globalization affects health and Social Determinants of Health through changes in social stratification, differential exposure or vulnerability, health system characteristics and differential consequences. It describes a number of key ‘clusters’ of pathways leading from globalization to changes in SDH ,provides an inventory of potential “interventions,” and provides a list of the specific research synthesis papers….”

See more on the Globalization and Health at: http://bit.ly/Ayqbvg

Agenda:

12:00 Introduction: Dr. Kira Fortune, Regional Advisor on Determinants of Health, PAHO/WHO

12:05 Globalization & health equity towards sustainable development: Dr. Ronald Labonté, Canada Research Chair in Globalization & Health Equity, Institute of Population Health, and Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, at the University of Ottawa

12:30 Comments: Dr. Oscar Mujica, Regional Advisor on Social Epidemiology, PAHO/WHO

12:35 Comments: Dr. Isaac Cohen, President, INVERWAY LLC

12:40 Debate

01:00 Closing remarks

Moderator: Dr. Kira Fortune, Regional Advisor on Determinants of Health, PAHO/WHO.

How to participate:

In person:

PAHO/WHO

525 23rd ST NW

Washington DC, 20037 Room 812 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Eastern Time (WDC)

Online: via Elluminate link:

– Spanish room: http://www.paho.org/virtual/SeminariosSDE

– English room http://www.paho.org/virtual/SDESeminars

SDE Seminar Series towards Rio+20

“Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.

They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature” – Principle 1 of the Rio…..” Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992.

The Rio Declaration of 1992 recognizes that healthy populations are central to human progress and sustainable development, and remains equally true today. However, the economic pillar has been prioritized at the expense of the social and environmental pillars of sustainable development over the last few decades, becoming itself a source of volatility and destabilization.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, now offers an opportunity to re-examine the relationship between health and sustainable development. The proposed SDE Seminar series towards Rio+20 aim at contributing to this important debate by bringing different themes of relevance to sustainable development and health to inform all areas of the Pan American Organization about the themes under discussion in the Rio Conference, but also to inform public health stakeholders and other decision makers in the health sector, to better take part in the debate.

The SDE Seminar series will happen every Wednesday from 12 to 1pm (Washington time), from February 8 to June 13th.

All Seminars will be life-streamed, and opened for participation in person at the PAHO/WHO HQ, or via Elluminate, or via telephone line.

Some of the Seminars will be in English, others in Spanish.

For those who cannot follow the seminar alive, they will be available later at PAHO Rio+20 Toolkit at: http://bit.ly/oxoRdS

KMC/2012/SDE

Twitter http://twitter.com/eqpaho