In times of emergency, one of the main elements to consider is information, which is important for both the prevention and response stages. Currently, there exist various sources of information about COVID-19 related to health issues and other areas for decision makers, health professionals and the general public. A large number of sources correspond to Ministries of Health, research institutes and other national agencies. Many of these sources can also be found on the websites of countries’ central offices and PAHO and WHO centers.
On April 21st, El Salvador formally joined the e-BlueInfo mobile application, becoming the fourth country in the Americas to do so, 16 months after its launch, alongside Peru, Guatemala and Brazil. The APP e-BlueInfo is an Information Platform for Health Practice that puts information in the palm of healthcare professionals developed by BIREME/PAHO/WHO.
The use of social networks has several objectives, including entertainment, communication between family, professional or social groups, and especially the search for information. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the main role of the media, mainly due to the fact that international agencies similar to the WHO including PAHO, the United Nations, Ministries of Health, and scientific associations and societies, among others, have dedicated pages on their websites and social networks to COVID-19. In this sense, BIREME’s social networks aim to disseminate qualified content, from nationally and internationally accredited sources to all audiences.
The Reference Network (RefNet), coordinated by BIREME, aims to support managers, researchers, and health professionals in elaborating complex search strategies to support health policy and decision-making processes within the scope of Brazil’s Unified Health System (SUS). Recently, RefNet met to develop strategies to retrieve scientific and technical information about the new Coronavirus and COVID-19, to urgently respond to the demand for information on the topic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the world and change everyday life as we know it, training, updating and supporting health professionals are of the utmost importance. In times like these, virtual tools can be very useful and make a big difference when we need to reach the largest number of professionals in the shortest possible time. In this sense, VCPH-PAHO offers several online courses on COVID-19 for health professionals.
World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7, to commemorate the founding of the World Health Organization and to raise awareness of health-related issues. The theme of this year’s celebration is nursing professionals and all health teams, for their heroic dedication and sacrifice in the global fight to prevent the spread of Covid-19.