The action of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME) in Latin America and the Caribbean region has traditionally been marked by the Virtual Health Library (VHL), which is present in over 30 countries. Since Dr Diego González Machín took office as Director of BIREME, he has been driving forward the technical cooperation actions of BIREME at national and – especially – regional levels, by means of joint activities conducted with the PAHO/WHO Country Offices and the countries’ National institutions.
In August, September and October, three months after his appointment as Director of the Center, he participated in international events held in Colombia, Panama, Mexico and United States. The main subjects discussed were as follows:
Colombia – On August 18-20, in Cartagena, Colombia, BIREME participated in the PAHO/WHO Regional Symposium “Agua y Saneamiento en la Agenda 2030: La Ruta para el Desarrollo Sostenible”, which was held before the 25° Congreso Interamericano de Ingeniería Sanitaria y Ambiental (AIDIS).
Panama – BIREME took part in the workshop “Equidad en el Acceso al Conocimiento en América Latina: Rol de los Productores/Gestores de Información, Desafíos del Aprendizaje y Redes de Información”. The event was held in Panama City, Panama, on September 6-9. The main theme was promotion of access, use and visibility of health scientific and technical knowledge, and the target audience comprised health information and knowledge professionals; PAHO information and knowledge management staff in Latin America and the Caribbean; healthcare professionals interested in access and use of information and scientific evidence; health researchers; and networks of local and regional organizations. The workshop was sponsored by PAHO, through KBR, Universidad de Panamá and the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center INFOMED.
Mexico – The X Reunión de Redes Internacionales de Enfermería de las Américas, the Reunión de Coordinadores de Redes Nacionales e Internacionales de Enfermería and the XV Coloquio Panamericano de Investigación en Enfermería were attended by BIREME staff. These events strengthened the VHL Nursing at the Regional level. The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the developments in the 2015-2017 Work Plan, as well as to communicate and disseminate the actions of several international Nursing networks and their role in promoting advances in Nursing research, practice leadership, professional care and education in Nursing and Health.
Each of the interventions in the countries, as well as the participation of Dr González Machín at the PAHO/WHO Manager’s Meeting, held in Washington D.C., US, from October 31 to November 4, contributed to reporting the potential of the current projects and initiatives of BIREME. Furthermore, it generates opportunities for collaboration, and emphasizes the mission of BIREME to contribute to the development of health in Latin American and Caribbean countries, by democratizing access, publication and use of information, knowledge and scientific evidence. These actions underline the role of BIREME as a PAHO/WHO Specialized Center in health sciences information.