In 2017, the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information of the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), celebrated its 50th Anniversary, working in the democratization of health information, knowledge and scientific evidence.
BIREME’s organizational strengthening was one of the main accomplishments of 2017, especially for its more effective presence in the countries of the Region. Some events marked this year: (1) Inauguration of BIREME’s new facilities (in February, with the presence of PAHO/WHO Assistant Director, Dr. Francisco Becerra, PAHO/WHO Brazil Representative, Dr. Joaquín Molina, organizational partners, and BIREME’s former directors; (2) 6th Session of BIREME Advisory Committee, in February, with the presence of experts from Brazil, Argentina, Jamaica, Peru, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago); (3) Visit of PAHO/WHO Administration Director, Mr. Gerald Anderson (in August, including a virtual meeting with the Administration Department Directors from the PAHO Headquarters); (4) Celebration of BIREME’s 50th Anniversary (in October, with the participation of the Deputy Director, Dr. Isabella Danel, PAHO/WHO Brazil Representative, Dr. Joaquín Molina, organizational partners, and BIREME former directors); and (5) 3rd Session of the Scientific Committee (in December, with the participation of Dr. Becerra and experts from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, and Mexico, in addition to Dr. Maurício Bustamante, PAHO/WHO’s consultant with experience in health systems management).
Throughout the year, BIREME participated and contribute to organize several regional strategic meetings, such as the 2017 Formal Regional Consultation on the International Sanitary Regulation, in July, gathering 80 experts from 30 countries, coordinated by Dr. Ciro Ugarte and Dr. Roberta Andraghetti. And the Resource Mobilization Workshop given by three experts from PAHO/WHO External Relations, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Department (ERP) in November, with 25 participants from five countries. In addition, two events were held (in April and November) with the support of the Organization’s Human Resources Department, for effective teamwork, addressing topics such as teamwork, emotional intelligence, elements for building partnerships; communication, diversity, and systemic vision.
The technical cooperation program was strengthened by the development of products and services to facilitate the registry, access and use of scientific information and evidence in health and to support the continuing education and improvement of health professionals through on-line courses and open educational resources. The main information dissemination strategy managed by BIREME – the Virtual Health Library (VHL) and its associated databases continues to be constantly updated and relies on the participation of BIREME through their governance committees and maintenance. All this, aligned with state-of-the-art methodologies and innovations to better meet the needs and serve new users who speak different languages and are interested in topics such as PAHO/WHO priority cross cutting issues (gender, ethnicity, human rights and equity), among others. New data exchange mechanisms will allow increasing the contribution with the databases available at the VHL. The resumption of joint action lines with the WHO (Global Index Medicus – GIM – and training events in Portuguese-speaking countries) place BIREME on the south-south cooperation axis.
The 2018-19 Biennial Work Plan of the Center has been recently approved by PAHO/WHO, which empowers BIREME to implement its mission and objectives through initiatives, projects, products, and services aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Organization.