BIREME Bulletin n° 12

VHL Paraguay pays homage to BIREME’s 50th anniversary

To celebrate BIREME’s 50th anniversary, Paraguay held the II Foro Nacional de la Biblioteca Virtual en Salud (BVS), an event that took place in the facilities of the Instituto Nacional de Salud, in Asuncion. Among the participants, Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto, PAHO/WHO Representative in Paraguay, Dr. Diego González Machín, BIREME Director, Verônica Abdala, Manager of Services and Sources of Information at BIREME, and Dr. Angilberto Paredes, Director of the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS), in addition to other special guests and cooperating members of the Red Nacional de Documentación e Información en Ciencias de la Salud (REDISAL).

In the Forum opening, Dr. Angilberto Paredes addressed Dr. Diego González Machín to pay tribute and congratulate BIREME leaders and employees. He reinforced the importance of this Center and in its role to lead management of knowledge on health sciences, and acknowledged its great merit work in making available high quality and open access information to researchers and users. In the words of the Institute Director, both elements are “pillars for the training of new research professionals.”

The PAHO/WHO Representative highlighted that “celebrating half a century of BIREME institutional life with this activity translates our heartfelt homage to the great task of democratizing access to, use and exchange of technical and scientific health information (…) This center has consolidated as a regional reference, being able to build a network of more than 2,400 organizations directly or indirectly related to VHL and its complementary regional and international networks in the past five decades.”

Dr. Escoto also highlighted PAHO/WHO cooperation for the operation of the VHL in Paraguay, stating “in this country, the PAHO Office, by means of the Documentation Center, has been cooperating with the creation and operation of the VHL for 17 years. We are very pleased to acknowledge that today the VHL Network in Paraguay comprises 46 Libraries and Documentation Centers under REDISAL.”

Finally, Dr. Escoto closed by encouraging the participants to reach the objective proposed of generating room for debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about the current and future situation of Paraguay VHL.

Immediately after the opening of the Foro Nacional, Dr. Diego González made a presentation about BIREME’s journey in its 50 years, recognizing the work developed by the networks the center works with to accomplish the products and services that are offered today. He mentioned that “it is important that the cooperating centers that comprise the Network have an active role to make the country’s scientific output increasingly more visible.”

pry11In her turn, Verônica Abdala presented an analysis of collaboration and participation of Paraguay in the information products and services developed by BIREME, particularly the VHL and LILACS. She drew attention to the importance of expanding Paraguay participation on bibliographic control of its production, which substantially contributes for visibility, access to and use of updated and relevant inormation, contextualized to the health needs and priorities in the country. In this sense, it is paramount to develop capacities in the Network and foster collaboration, as well as providing infrastructure and human resources to health libraries, which were the main weaknesses detected according to a recent study developed by the INS, which also coordinates REDISAL and VHL Paraguay.

Dr. Angilberto Paredes, Director of the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS), presented the current situation of the VHL Network in Paraguay, placing emphasis on its main challenges, such as:

  • Improving the contribution of institutions to the country national literature in health
  • Fostering promotion of the Virtual Health Library services and products at the institutional level
  • Developing the national policy on health information
  • Ensuring stability of human resources that have been trained
  • Designing VHL operation rules in the country
  • Strengthening the cooperative work and exchange of experiences to overcome the difficulties posed to institutions
  • Strengthening permanent capacity building in the new technological modalities implemented by BIREME
  • Implementing quality management programs in all different VHL processes.

pry8After the event and to close his mission in Paraguay, Dr. Gonzalez met with PAHO/WHO Paraguay technical staff to present the Center the main strengths, products and services, and to talk about the importance of channeling all actions performed in the country in full coordination with PAHO/WHO office. In addition to boosting actions, this will help developing joint projects and strengthen the scientific-technical information component in the scope of the country’s Cooperation Strategy.


Source: PAHO/WHO Paraguay. BIREME celebra 50 años con un Foro Nacional de la Biblioteca Virtual de Salud en Paraguay. 2017. Available at <>. Access on: 26 sept. 2017

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