The National Institute of Health / Ministry of Health of Mozambique and the WHO Representation in the country had recently joined efforts to revitalize and upgrade the Virtual Health Library (VHL) Mozambique. With this goal in mind, Rosemeire Rocha Pinto, librarian and supervisor of User Services and Juliana Lourenço Sousa, librarian on the VHL Monitoring Area, represented BIREME/PAHO/WHO in the training activity that took place in the country.
On March 27-31st, 2017, they conducted a workshop with the team in charge of feeding data into the database RDSM, developing and managing the VHL. The workshop was held at the National Institute of Health that belongs to the Ministry of Health of Mozambique, with the support of the WHO Representation in the country. A total of 16 people from the main regions in the country were trained including coordinators, documentalists and IT staff representing seven institutions, such as public and private universities, Higher and Technical Institutes of Health Sciences, the National Institute of Health and the WHO Representation.
Rosemeire Rocha Pinto said “The workshop format enables a better use of time and resources available, as well as updating the VHL. Thus, participants are able to see the result of their work almost in real time”.
The thematic areas representing health priorities in the country and the region were also defined at the VHL Mozambique. Some topics, such as communicable diseases; chronic diseases and a review of the literature produced on and in the country, are already available as a result of the teamwork done during the workshop.
A highlight of the event was the signing of the Memoradum of Agreement to formalize the VHL Mozambique Collaboration Network and the upgrade of the VHL and the national database RDSM. In addition, a working plan was prepared based on the Responsibility Matrix for the decentralized and network-based management and operation of VHL Mozambique.
On this occasion and as an answer to the invitation extended by Flatiel Vilanculos, the WHO representative in Mozambique Dr Djamila Khady visited the workshop and stated the need to prepare a project in collaboration with WHO in order to ensure sustainability and maintenance of VHL in the country.
Therefore, with the hard work and dedication of all those involved, it will be possible to revitalize this important source of information in Portuguese, VHL Mozambique, to serve and inform healthcare professionals and workers, researchers, teachers and students and all stakeholders.
Putting the ePORTUGUÊSe Network into context
BIREME started a collaboration with the ePORTUGUÊSe network from previous talks between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Brazilian Ministry of Health (MS) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with the aim to include the Network into the Virtual Health Library (VHL) model in order to develop the VHL ePORTUGUÊSe. The implementation of the BVS model in the ePORTUGUESe network context has the following main goals:
– Providing healthcare professionals with health information resources (contents already available at VHL);
– Providing information and knowledge management methodologies, technologies and structures so that countries can improve their training, organization and availability of the scientific and technical health information they produce; and
– Encouraging networking, experience exchange and improving healthcare professionals skills to deal with the scientific and technical health information produced nationally.
After starting using the VHL model for the Portuguese speaking countries, Mozambique was one of the first countries to develop the VHL between 2009 and 2013. Below, a short timeline of the actions carried out by VHL Mozambique within the ePORTUGUÊSe Network and the VHL Network context.
During those years, VHL Mozambique reached good results and was a model for other Portuguese speaking countries. Its main achievements were:
– Setting up the VHL Mozambique portal
– Conducting technical training sessions on the VHL model
– Buying computing equipment
– Setting and formalizing the VHL Mozambique Governance levels (Executive Secretariat, Advisory Committee and Executive Committee)
– Developing its own databases:
- Database of Mozambique National Health Library known as RDSM. It is a database from the collection of the National Health Library of the National Institute of Health/Ministry of Health comprised of documents from the Mozambican collection and international literature
- MOZDOC – WHO Documentation Center, is a WHO database – Representation in Mozambique made up of publications by the WHO and its partners.
– Hosting of VHL in its own server, however, due to technical reasons, the VHL needed to be hosted again at BIREME.
Host country of the 2nd Meeting of the Coordination of the ePORTUGUÊse Network and the preparation of the Declaration of Maputo – Commitment with the Democratization of Scientific Information and Knowledge on Portuguese speaking countries. Other VHL governing bodies were also created within the scope of this project on the six Portuguese speaking countries Angola, Cape Verde, Guine-Bissau, Portugal, Sao Tome and Timor Leste, except for Brazil.