News Releases

UWI and IDB join the fight against Non Communicable Diseases

For Release Upon Receipt - May 9, 2008

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has received the approval of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for a technical assistance grant in the amount of US$650,000 to undertake a project to establish research and surveillance programmes for Non Communicable Diseases (NCD).

UWI Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat, and IDB Resident Representative, Mr. Iwan Sewbarath Misir will sign the contract document for the project at a Signing Ceremony to take place at the Office of the Campus Principal, UWI St Augustine Campus on Friday 16 May, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.

Entitled “Regional Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Surveillance System”, the project will improve the region’s capacity to deliver cost-effective health services associated with NCD, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and respiratory diseases. The six IDB member countries from the region—The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago—are all participating in the project, which is being led by the Chief Medical Officers of Health who have designated Focal Points from their Ministries to coordinate the national activities.

The three-year project involves the establishment of National Registers on chronic NCD in the six countries, and the establishment and pilot testing of a regional NCD surveillance system. Policy guidance to implement the Declaration of Port of Spain that emanated from the CARICOM Summit of Heads of State and Government on Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (Port of Spain, 15th September 2007) will also be undertaken as part of the project.

The UWI will execute the project, in close collaboration with the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre / Pan American Health Organisation (CAREC/PAHO).The UWI project team spans the three campuses and is led by Prof. Surujpal Teelucksingh of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, St. Augustine Campus. The Chancellor of the University, Sir George Alleyne, worked closely with the project team in formulating the components of the project. The UWI Business Development Office was also instrumental in the preparation of the project documents.

The UWI was assisted in the development of the proposal by Mr. Ian Ho-A-Shu of the IDB Office in Port of Spain, together with Ms. Laura Bocalandro, Dr. Andre Medici and Mr. Rafael Villa from the IDB Headquarters in Washington, D.C.