The Latin-American and Caribbean Center for Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), in its mission to contribute to the development of health in Latin American and Caribbean countries through the democratization of access, publication and use of scientific information, knowledge and evidence, offers technical cooperation to the countries of the Region. Special emphasis is given to the eight key countries of the Organization, among which is Nicaragua.
On August 28-30, the Director of the Center, Dr. Diego González, went on an official mission to the country, with the objective of holding strategic meetings with national counterparts related to the scientific and technical information component, as well as with the technical team of the PAHO/WHO office in the country. The PAHO/WHO Health System and Services (HSS) Advisor, Dr. Alexandre Florencio de Sousa, and B.Sc. Elyda Ortiz, the office’s Communicator, also attended the meetings.
According to Dr. Celia Riera, Interim PAHO/WHO Representative in Nicaragua on the occasion, “this mission was long awaited, given the country’s need to reactivate the Virtual Health Library (VHL), give visibility to the country’s scientific production and diffuse BIREME’s products and services that can be adopted by the country”.
As a response, Dr. González and the PAHO Nicaragua team met with representatives of the Teaching and Research Management of the Ministry of Health, searching for leadership for the revitalization of the National VHL and the coordination of the work of a national content committee for an application promoted by BIREME which is currently aimed for primary health care personnel, named eBlueInfo.
The academic field was also deemed a priority in this visit, and a meeting was facilitated among the Vice-Rector of UNAN Managua, Dr. Jaime López Lowery, deans from other faculties and research centers of the University, as well as deans from other Medical Schools, such as UNAN León; the Medical School of the Hospital Militar; Universidad America; and Universidad Católica.
Dr. González presented BIREME, its projects, products and services, as well as its priorities and emphasized the importance of generating a culture of access to information and of decision making based on evidence, something that must be initiated during the training of students in the health field and related fields. In addition, there is the need for UNAN to join the Ministry of Health in the reactivation of the National VHL, incorporating a series of cooperating centers, such as the ones already present.
On his part, Dr. Jaime López Lowery expressed the importance and scope of the project, which will allow a greater diffusion and acquisition of research and information on health both nationally and internationally. “The technology networks have become an essential tool for the quality of training for students, professors and researchers in medical sciences”, he pointed out.
Other meetings were held with entities such as the Management of the Institute of Natural Medicine and Complementary Therapies of the Ministry of Health, the Network of Nursing Schools and the National Nursing Management of the Ministry of Health, as well as with the country office team. All meetings were aimed at establishing alliances, diffusing BIREME, offering support in strengthening the health information component and searching for opportunities for collaboration.
The mission culminated with a meeting with the Official Advisor of the President of the Republic for Health Issues, Dr. Sonia Castro. The Director of Teaching of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Natalia Salgado Quintero, and the Minister of Health, Dr. Carolina Asunción Dávila Murillo, were also present at the meeting. Dr. González, accompanied by the interim Representative and the PAHO/WHO Health Services Advisor, offered feedback on the entire visit and emphasized the leading role played by the Ministry of Health in the strengthening of the health information component. Dr. Sonia Castro expressed the Ministry’s commitment to initiate as soon as possible the reactivation of the National VHL in collaboration with UNAN-Managua and the adoption of tools and methodologies facilitated by BIREME that will contribute to promote health among the population of Nicaragua.