BIREME Bulletin n° 13

Initiatives to celebrate BIREME’s 50th Anniversary

In 2017, BIREME is celebrating 50 years of its foundation, the result of an agreement signed on March 3, 1967, by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and institutions representing the Government of Brazil, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Secretary of Health of the State of São Paulo, and Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP).

At the time of celebrating this historical landmark, BIREME, a Specialized Center of PAHO/WHO, reaffirms its mission to democratize information, knowledge and evidence on health, strengthening and expanding its work in cooperation networks in Latin America and the Caribbean.

To mark this date, BIREME conducted actions and launched several products aiming to rescue the history of the Center and its institutional partners, as well as to give an account of the development and evolution of its major of information products and services on health sciences, which follow the methodological and technological innovations to continue offering users state-of-the-art on information sciences applied to health and related areas.

Hotsite 50 years

The Hotsite BIREME 50 years is a space for celebration and recording important and special moments of the history of the Center, open to the manifestations of the many players involved, staff and fans. By telling its history,hotsite_en BIREME reaffirms its intention of enhancing the visibility and improving quality of the scientific output in health in Latin America and the Caribbean. Moreover, the Center effectively contributes to reducing the gap between knowledge available and healthcare management and practice.

The Hotsite includes the following elements:

  • Video testimonials – A space for institutional partners, employees of the Centers and PAHO/WHO Representation Offices, users and other players to record their accounts, impressions, and stories of cooperation with BIREME.
  • Written testimonials – Similarly to the video testimonials, but in writing, for those who prefer to express themselves in this format.
  • Photo Gallery – Historical photographic record of events, celebrations, conferences, meetings, and day-to-day activities of BIREME.
  • Timeline – By means of an app, it is possible to browse through the key events that have marked the trajectory of the Center as from 1967.
  • The 50th Anniversary logo brand – BIREME’s 50th Anniversary logo brand is a creation that includes Organization brand (map of Latin America and the Caribbean), the years celebrated (50) and BIREME/PAHO/WHO in three languages. The logo brand is being used in official documents in 2017, and whenever BIREME participates in events and scientific meetings in the country and Region.
  • Institutional video of the 50th anniversary
    Summarizing 50 years in three minutes is not an easy task, but this is what the institutional video does – it was especially created to celebrate BIREME’s 50th Anniversary.The video highlights its historical landmarks, main products and services, and cooperative and networking performance, celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Special emphasis is placed on BIREME major products and services – the Virtual Health Library (VHL), the Latin American and Caribbean Literature in Health Sciences – LILACS, and the Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS), in addition to other platforms and services offered by BIREME. The conclusion of the video summarizes in a simple sentence the work and complexity of BIREME and its associate Networks in these 50 years – “Information, Evidence and Knowledge contributing for the development of Health”.

Historical Legacy Panel

The Historical Panel was initially created in 2002 to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Center. The panel is the result of extensive research and records the history of BIREME since its establishment, in 1967. Throughout its trajectory, the Mural was periodically updated to include information. On BIREME’s 50th Anniversary, the panel celebrates this date and the opening of its new facilities. The panel includes key elements, such as the name of the Directors of BIREME and the Pan American Health Organization, since PAHO was founded in 1902, until today; BIREME major products and services; and the agencies and organizations with historical bonds with BIREME, as well as the missions of BIREME and PAHO.


The 50th Anniversary of the Center was an opportunity to update and launch new folders on BIREME major products and services. The materials have contents on the VHL, LILACS and DeCS, in addition to another folder folders1“Quick VHL Search Guide” to teach users to retrieve scientific and technical information on health with the correct use of descriptors and terms, search refinement, and valuable tips.


In addition to the activities conducted within BIREMEs facilities in São Paulo along 2017 to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, partner institutions and some Member Countries of the Pan American Health Organization paid homage to this important landmark. Some examples are mentioned as follows:



Fiocruz’s homepage published on May 6, 2017 an article on the 50th Anniversary of the Center, emphasizing its partnership with BIREME in the development of the Virtual Health Library. Fiocruz coordinates 13 thematic, institutional and biographical instances of the VHL, and is one of BIREME’s longest-standing institutional partners. During the ceremony of the 50th Anniversary of BIREME, Fiocruz president, Nísia Trindade Lima, announced that still this year, they will promote an event to celebrate this historical landmark of BIREME.

Puerto Rico

Called by the Practice Community of the Virtual Health Library of Puerto Rico, representatives of the Caribbean Virtual Libraries gathered to celebrate BIREME’s 50th Anniversary and its role in the dissemination of health information through the VHL. It took place during the Annual Conference of the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL 2017).Click on this link to see more details.


The coordination of the VHL in Colombia paid tribute to BIREME for its 50 years of work on health information in Latin American and Caribbean countries, the democratization of information, the visibility of scientific output and health decision-making supported by evidence. In the framework of this event, recognition was made through greetings and presentations of personalities who were important for the development and work of BIREME and the VHL, as well as a video to recognize their work.


The II National Forum of the VHL Network in Paraguay, held on September 19 was attended by health authorities in the country, in addition to PAHO/WHO Representative in Paraguay, Robert Escoto, and BIREME’s Director, Diego González. At the occasion, a Paraguayan boy presented a song as a touching celebration of BIREME’s 50th Anniversary. Read the full article.


The 14ª Jornada Argentina de Bibliotecas de Salud y Ambiente en la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires was held on April 24 and 26 to celebrate BIREME’s 50th anniversary and the 30th anniversary of the Red Nacional de Información en Ciencias de la Salud (RENICS). Click on this link to read the full article.

Secretary of Health of the Municipality of São Paulo

The Secretary of Health organized an activity at Hospital Municipal Infantil Menino Jesus at the time of the visit of PAHO/WHO Deputy Director Isabella Danel on the celebration of BIREME’s 50th Anniversary.

Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo

FSP carried out an activity to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the School and the 50th Anniversary of BIREME with a presentation on Health in the Americas+ 2017 by the PAHO/WHO Deputy Director.


BIREME and all its collaborators acknowledge the congratulations received. We are sure that this is just one celebration of many more yet to come in the Center’s history.

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