The 2007 Declaration of Port of Spain, “Uniting to stop the epidemic of chronic NCDs,” resulted from a historic and unprecedented effort by heads of government of the Caribbean Community who recognized the devastating burden and consequences of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) on their citizens and the need to respond at the highest political level. The Port of Spain Declaration (POSD) comprises 15 mandates monitored by 26 indicators reflecting commitments to action in key areas including risk factor reduction and health promotion; improving quality of care; the development of appropriate legislative frameworks and the establishment of NCD commissions or similar entities to provide an “all of society” response to NCD prevention and control efforts.
This bold initiative by Caribbean leaders proved to be a critical catalyst, prompting countries in other regions to take stock and ultimately resulting in the 2011 United Nations High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases. This process continues with the evaluation of progress towards agreed targets at the global level.
This thematic issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health presents to health authorities, academics, policymakers, governments and health professionals in the Caribbean subregion and beyond valuable lessons learned to strengthen their own countries’ public health and fiscal policies, regulation, legislation, and the intersectoral and multisectoral approaches needed to ensure policy coherence in tackling NCDs and their risk factors.
The Pan American Journal of Public Health recognizes with appreciation the contributions of the University of the West Indies, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, Caribbean Institute for Health Research (St. Michael, Barbados), whose financial and programmatic contributions were essential to the publication of this thematic issue, and the team of researchers who evaluated the CARICOM Port-of-Spain NCD Summit Declaration. This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre (Ottawa, Canada).