On the initiative of the National Institute of Health of Mozambique and with the support of the Representation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the country, the BIREME team, represented by librarians Juliana Sousa and Laís Silva, both from the Management of Cooperative Information Services and Production of Information Sources of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) gave a training workshop for strengthening the national database and the development of a Virtual Health Library for the Portuguese speaking countries of the Region.
The activity took place on July 15-19 in the National Library of the Ministry of Health in Maputo, Mozambique. This technical cooperation activity was aimed at training new technicians and updating those who were trained in 2017, in order to improve the functioning and operations of the Virtual Health Library (VHL). Thirteen professionals participated in the activity, including librarians and information technology (IT) personnel and related fields.
In general lines, the training aimed at: (1) strengthening the activities for the administration and management of the VHL portal, updating and integrating other sources of health information, (2) collecting bibliographic information/documents in order to feed the VHL and the national database, (3) creating the bibliographic description and indexing the documents in the country’s national RDSM database, with significant technical and scientific content produced by educational institutions, scientific societies, governmental and non-governmental organizations recognized in the field, and (4) maintaining a quality control of the data.
The BIREME team presented an analysis of the VHL portals of the countries that were part of the ePORTUGUESe program of the WHO. Based on this analysis, a proposal was presented to develop a regional Virtual Library for the Portuguese speaking countries in Africa, as a solution for strengthening the network in the Region so as to integrate the actions and concentrate efforts in the bibliographical control of regional scientific and technical output.
In this proposal, Mozambique, which is very active in this movement, would highlight on the portal the national sources of information and the National Institute of Health of the Ministry of Health of the country (INS/MS), with the support of the WHO, would be the coordinator of the VHL and of the other actions. The proposal was accepted by the team of the INS/MS and by the WHO team.
The importance of networking for giving visibility to the country’s scientific and technicaloutputn was also noted, focusing on the concepts of the VHL model for the development of its Regional portal and on the LILACS Methodology for bibliographical control of the region’s scientific and technical production.
In order to strengthen the development and the update of the national database “Network for Documentation on the Health of Mozambique” (Rede de Documentação sobre Saúde em Moçambique – RDSM), the participants performed a series of practical activities on the use of the system for the management of information sources (FI-Admin) and for the description and indexation of the documents. The guide for document selection criteria that had been developed in 2017 for the aforementioned database using the LILACS Methodology was reviewed and updated with the participation of all.
In addition to the practical activities, dynamics and exercises for fixation also took place, using questions and answers that allowed to evaluate the assimilation of the practice of using the FI-Admin system and of the concepts from the LILACS Methodology, to create an analysis of the level of learning of participants, to strengthen weak points, to answer any doubts and to promote a better personal development.
As a final result of the training, 30 registrations were published on the national database RDSM and a work plan was elaborated for stimulating commitment from participants for continuing the activities of bibliographic description, indexation and publication of approximately one thousand documents, in order to launch the Regional VHL and the database in November 2019.
A few comments from participants can be appreciated below:
“The training session was very good, but the agenda was too short, we would have liked to sleep here in order to continue the activities”. Marta Catuane, librarian from the Institute of Health Sciences of Maputo.
“I am thankful for the knowledge that was shared by the facilitators, the training activity made me discover that the library is a world in itself”. Anita Isabel Saiete, Institute of Health Sciences in Maputo.
“The system is very interactive, since it sends error messages while the description is being made. I enjoyed the training session and the work, although I am not a librarian”. Francisco da Costa, National Health Inspector.
VHL Mozambique: BIREME organizes a training workshop to reactivate VHL Mozambique in Maputo. BIREME Bulletin n° 7. Available at: http://boletin.bireme.org/en/2017/04/28/vhl-mozambique-bireme-organizes-a-training-workshop-to-reactivate-vhl-mozambique-in-maputo/