Being one of its priorities to work with key countries, BIREME participated in the III International Congress of Natural, Traditional Ancestral Medicine and Complementary Therapies, with the theme “Avanzando en victorias, uniendo saberes por el continuo mejoramiento de la práctica de la Medicina Natural, Tradicional Ancestral y Terapias Complementarias”. The event took place in Managua, Nicaragua on October 25 and 26, 2018, in the premises of the Instituto de Medicina Natural y Terapias Complementarias (IMNTC – Institute of Natural Medicine and Complementary Therapies).
Juliana Sousa, Librarian of the VHL instances and projects area, represented BIREME and shared with participants the experience of the Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Virtual Health Library (TCIM VHL). The main objective of this VHL is to promote visibility, access, use and output of scientific, technical and educational content that contributes, through networking, to the promotion, development and integration of the TCIM in health systems and services of the Region of the Americas. Nicaragua is one of the countries which are part of the TCIM network for the development of the TCIM VHL and is represented by the IMNTC.
Participation in the event made it possible to set up strategic meetings with the authorities of some of the country’s institutions, in order to strengthen information management and promote the visibility of scientific and technical production in Nicaragua. A technical visit to the IMNTC was also arranged to inform the activities of the institution and to identify opportunities and possible cooperation actions between the IMNTC, PAHO/WHO Nicaragua and BIREME, with the aim of improving health information and knowledge management in the IMNTC, within the framework of the technical cooperation offered by PAHO Nicaragua to government instances, given the priority of the country.
The result was a “Work Plan Proposal” with the following lines of activities and opportunities for cooperation with BIREME: (1) Support the IMNTC in information and knowledge production in the institute; (2) Creation of a “Knowledge Showcase” to display information from indigenous peoples; (3) Training collaborators and health professionals in Research Methodology and critical analysis of information courses; (4) Scientific Communication Courses for both information producers and the IMNTC team; and (5) Development of Open Educational Resources (OER) and self-learning courses.
Reactivation of National Nicaragua VHL
The mission was an opportunity to reactivate National VHL Nicaragua. For this, a technical meeting was held with the Director of the Central Library Salomón de la Selva from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua en Managua (National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Managua – UNAM Managua) and representatives of the Ministry of Health that support the reactivation of the National VHL. UNAM Managua was chosen as new coordinator for National VHL Nicaragua, with the responsibility of assembling institutions that are producers, intermediary and final users of health information, in order to guarantee the development of the VHL nationally, as well as to follow up on the country’s national thematic initiatives.
The actions to be developed are: (1) Restructuring VHL Nicaragua to respond to the country’s needs and priorities; (2) Strengthen the Network of Health Information of Nicaragua; (3) Improve scientific and technical production in Nicaragua; (4) Increase visibility and access to scientific and technical information produced in the country.
For the Director of the Library of the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA – Central-American University), Ricardo Mariano Bohorque, “to be part of a project of such importance to the country, in alliances with institutions like BIREME/PAHO/WHO and PAHO Nicaragua, is a great opportunity to strengthen the university, considering the country’s current situation, and reinforces UCA’s commitment with the VHL Nicaragua Network”.
In a brief meeting with Msc. Ramona Rodríguez Pérez, Dean of UNAN Managua and President of the National Council of Universities (CNU), to present results of the meeting and the new role of the University as VHL coordinators, MSc. Pérez commented that “it is a great opportunity for UNAN to be part of this important project together with BIREME and PAHO Nicaragua. The university is honored by the trust you have deposited upon us”, and affirmed that “they feel strong to work in the role of promoting scientific and technical production in Nicaragua”. The Central Library Salomón de la Selva – UNAN Managua will be in charge of the coordination.
The PAHO Representation in Nicaragua supports all actions to strengthen the country, in alignment to PAHO’s Strategic Plan 2014-2019 in support of key countries, celebrating the principles of Pan American equity and solidarity.