Arturo Rebollón, MD MPH CPH, project coordinator for USF Health in Panama and an epidemiology alumnus of the USF College of Public Health, represented the Panamanian team at USF Health Research Day. He presented a poster titled Participatory Processes to Develop Innovative Tailored Health Educational Material for the Ngabe-Buglé Indigenous Communities in Panama. Researchers and students approached Dr. Rebollón for collaborative projects and further interventions in Panama through the USF Health office at the City of Knowledge.
Beginning in 2012, the USF Health program in Panama implemented an innovative interdisciplinary health education project in the Comarca Ngabe-Buglé, the largest indigenous region in Panama. The project included development of tailored health education material, implementation of a train-the-trainer intervention for indigenous promotores (lay midwives, traditional doctors, community leaders), and outreach and education at distant locations within the region. Topics covered at the trainings included nutrition, hygiene, environmental health, pregnancy and newborn care, role of the midwife in the community, and domestic violence. Future plans of the project include expanding to other geographical locations within Panama.
Arlene Calvo, PhD, MPH, CHES, is the principal investigator for the project. Dr. Calvo holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Community and Family Health and Global Health and is based in Panama at the USF Health office at the City of Knowledge. Other members of the team include Professor Lourdes Alguero, a public health nurse from the University of Panama, and Dr. Silvio Vega, an infectious disease specialist from the Social Security Fund of Panama.