Panama have launched the technical cooperation project “Mental Health in Indigenous Populations” in the Department of Sololá in
Guatemala and the Ngöbe-Buglé region in
The project has been designed using the data from the Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS), which shows that there is virtually no link between traditional medicine and the formal treatment methods and services, a fact that is compounded by the wide mental health treatment gap which affects indigenous populations. The project seeks to develop care modalities adapted to the local culture, ensuring that the contributions of traditional medicine are respected and valued and cooperation mechanisms can be developed.
The “First Binational Workshop” has already been held in the city of
Panama) to study strategies for meeting the project’s objectives. From July to September, professionals from the two countries shared information on local activities. Work is currently under way on the validation of a mental health information system for a department or province and on the basic document for cooperation between traditional medicine and the formal treatment methods and services.