With the aim of making a diagnosis of the current situation of information management in Haiti and to identify opportunities for the collaboration of BIREME with one of the key countries for PAHO/WHO, Dr. Diego González Machín, Director of BIREME/PAHO/WHO, made an official visit to the country on March 27-30, 2018.
Dr. González held a meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr. Marie Gréta Roy Clément, with the objective of exchanging and proposing actions aimed at strengthening the information component with the leadership of the Ministry of Health and calling on the participation of the five Universities that have Medical Schools. They are: the Université d’État d’Haïti, Université Notre Dame d’Haïti, Université Quisqueya, Université Lumière, and Université de la Fondation Aristide.
The meeting was attended by members of the minister’s cabinet, in addition to Dr. Frédéric Barau Dejean, director of CIFAS (Centre d’Information et de Formation en Administration de la Santé, Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population – Information and Training Center for Health Administration of the Ministry of Public Health and Population) and Dr. Luis Codina, PAHO/WHO Representative in Haiti.
Continuing the mission, Dr. González and Dr. Codina held a meeting with Dr. Jean Claude Cadet, Dean of the Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de la Université d’État d’Haïti (School of Medicine and Pharmacy, State University of Haiti). PAHO officials from Haiti and Dr. Frédéric Barau Dejean, director of CIFAS, institution that was appointed by the Minister of Health to be the focal point for health information actions, participated at the meeting. Within the framework of the meeting, the next activities to be developed towards the construction of a national Haiti Virtual Health Library were defined and will begin with a Scientific Communication Course and a practical course on Access and Use of Health Information. The courses will be taught by Dr. Lilian Calò, Scientific Communication Manager, and Veronica Abdala, Manager of Information Sources, respectively. Both are BIREME employees and will focus the courses on a group of professionals that will later replicate the content.
Within the framework of the mission that is expected to take place in June of this year, the creation of a Haitian Virtual Health Library Network will be worked upon, and training will be provided for its members. This will give the possibility to start building the Haiti VHL, through which the scientific output of the country will be made visible and information search in French will be facilitated.
Both health and academic authorities expressed their satisfaction for having the collaboration of PAHO/WHO through BIREME and the country Office, with the objective of advancing on access to scientific and technical information.
Dr. Luis Codina reiterated that “the commitment of the Organization towards the Member Countries and the priority of Haiti in our technical cooperation, in addition to the planned actions, pave the way to potentiate the exchange of experiences with other countries of the Region and the possibility of presenting all the advances made in the 10th edition of the Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information (CRICS10), to be held in São Paulo, Brazil, on December 4 to 6”.
Finally, Dr. González held a meeting with the technical staff of the PAHO Haiti Office to disseminate BIREME, its potential, priorities, products and services. It was a good opportunity to generate a dialogue in search of joint actions.
Dr. González, in his interventions, said that “Haiti is a priority for BIREME, as it is a PAHO/WHO key country”. Similarly, he affirmed that “we will work to reach the users who have access and also those who do not have access to the Internet and we will be consistent with the words of the PAHO/WHO Director not to leave anyone behind”.