With the objective of strengthening the Virtual Health Library on Hansen’s disease – VHL Hansen’s disease, defining cooperation strategies for the reactivation of its Consulting Committee and outlining actions for the regular maintenance of the VHL, a meeting was held in Recife, PE, Brazil, on October 17, on the occasion of the 10° Simpósio Brasileiro de Hansenologia.
Since 2007, the Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima (ILSL) coordinates the VHL Hansen’s disease, which is a thematic library that gathers, organizes and diffuses scientific production on the field, collaborating with the development of studies and research that contribute to preserve the history, prevention and treatment of leprosy in Brazil.
Juliana Sousa, librarian at BIREME, presented the technical cooperation work of the PAHO/WHO Specialized Center on scientific and technical information, the Virtual Health Library – VHL model, with emphasis on the functions and roles of the consulting committee and on the proposal for restructuring and updating the VHL Portal with the new information architecture and graphic design. Andrea Bogado, VHL Hansen’s disease coordinator of the ILSL, presented the history and activities that have been developed during the last years on the thematic portal.
The discussions held by participants of the committee for outlining the collaborative actions for the reactivation of the VHL portal were very valuable; the team shared ideas, made observations and suggestions on the contents of the portal and commented that the new portal, considering its restructuring and updating, is more objective, user friendly and dynamic.
At the end of the meeting all participants present accepted to represent their institutions in the Consulting Committee of the VHL Hansen’s disease Brazil and signed an Engagement Act for its development and maintenance, committing to support and promote the management of the flow of scientific information and knowledge on Hansen’s disease in the country, through this model of information management.
The institutions that compose the new consulting committee, coordinated by the ILSL are: Brazilian Ministry of Health – CGDE/DCCI/SVS; Latin American and Caribbean Center for Health Science Information – BIREME/PAHO/WHO; Sociedade Brasileira de Hansenologia; Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto – USP; Federação Internacional de Associações contra a Hanseniase (ILEP); Programa Regional de Hanseniase da OPAS/Brasil; Fundação Alfredo da Matta (FUAM); DAHW Brazil and Universidade Federal de Uberlândia.
Besides theAdvisory Committee meeting during the Symposium, with the support of the Sociedade Brasileira de Hansenologia, who offered a space in their stand, activities were held for increasing the visibility of the Hansen’s disease VHL
About the new VHL Hansen’s disease portal
Previously to the event and with the support of Andrea Bogado of the ILSL, a user study was carried out for the analysis and validation of the proposal for the new VHL portal. Users were invited to evaluate the new proposal and record their impressions, suggestions and comments. Generally speaking, about the organization structure of the content, all participants pointed out that the new portal presents information in a more objective manner, that it is well organized and that the sections are clear, making navigation easier, pleasant and intuitive.
They also commented that the search system is practical and the topics save up time for the users, since they present a list of pre-defined documents. On the graphic design, users commented that the portal is modern, much more dynamic, clean and beautiful. The launching of the new portal is scheduled for January 2020, aligned with the actions for the World Day Against Hansen’s disease.