BIREME Bulletin n° 17

Strengthening information and knowledge management in Paraguay – one of the key PAHO/WHO countries

BIREME has been developing several actions to strengthen information and knowledge management in the Region’s key countries and, thus, contributing to reduce the existing gap between knowledge and practice, and iniquities in the access, use and production of scientific and technical knowledge in health.

To this end, a team from PAHO/WHO Office in Paraguay met with BIREME team in São Paulo for three days, with the objective of designing a work plan to develop capacities in information and knowledge management in the country, making use of the facilities and potentialities of BIREME´s information resources, products and services.

paraguay1The team conducted a broad analysis of the situation – based on indicators of production, records, and access to health information in the Virtual Health Library (VHL) – about the country commitments with PAHO strategies and plans in the knowledge management area, and its health priorities and needs aligned to cooperation agreements in effect.

The root analysis identified several needs, but also opportunities to strengthen the country’s initiatives and actions in knowledge and information management—not only in the context of the Health Information Network of Paraguay (REDISAL) and VHL Paraguay, but also the PAHO/WHO Representation and Paraguayan organizations.

The work plan proposal to be presented, discussed, and enhanced is structured in five lines of action:

  • Restructuring VHL Paraguay to respond to national health needs and priorities;
  • Strengthening the Health Information Networks in the country;
  • Increasing the quality and quantity of scientific and technical production in Health at the national level;
  • Enhancing visibility and access to scientific and technical information in health to Paraguayan users; and
  • Integrating information and knowledge management initiatives from Paraguay with the Proyecto del Chaco Sudamericano.

About the Paraguay team mission in BIREME

The knowledge management team that visited BIREME on February 19-21 comprised professionals from PAHO/WHO Paraguay Office: librarian Epifania Gomez Toralez and four technical consultants: Juan A. Seclen, Adriana Amarilla, Fabiana Michel, and Venus Caballero.

BIREME technical team participated in the activities held during the visit, aiming to present the information resources, services and products that are promoted and facilitated by BIREME throughout the Region in a detailed manner and in context with the realities of REDISAL and the country itself. They also shared initiatives and experiences that could be tied to actions and activities in the work plan to be built. It was indeed a learning and exchange opportunity quite enjoyed by both teams.

The following statements show how effective and encouraging was the collaborative and interactive work developed between BIREME and PAHO/WHO Paraguay teams.

“The visit of the PAHO Paraguay mission to BIREME has been a very positive experience in the sense it enabled us to get to know the tools and methodologies available to optimize information and scientific production management in Paraguay. Certainly, the joint work we developed with BIREME will strengthen the technical cooperation activities that PAHO provides to Paraguay. This effort will contribute to our commitment in supporting the country to meet its national priorities in health. I am very happy for the opportunity of having met BIREME technical team, its technical excellence and human quality will be of great value for the implementation of the actions to follow.” (Dr. Juan Seclen)

“Participating in the technical mission in BIREME was an enriching experience that allowed us, in addition to deepening the knowledge and understanding of the role of BIREME within PAHO technical cooperation, to identify many opportunities for strengthening of health information management in Paraguay, within the framework of the National Cooperation Strategy. We leave with the confidence we will have the technical support of BIREME team to implement different processes that will allow us to successfully address the priority critical areas.” (Dr. Fabiana Michel)

“The technical visit of the Information Management Group and the knowledge acquired by PAHO/WHO Paraguay has been an extraordinary experience. We have identified excellent opportunities to work to strengthen the Health Information Network of Paraguay and we are very excited to motivate and facilitate the revitalization of the network. In addition, we acquired a sense of belonging to BIREME that I am sure will positively lead to the implementation of the strategies planned to address the needs we have identified at country level.” (Dr. Adriana Amarilla)

“The experience was of high impact for improving Information and Knowledge Management. The themes conducted presented, reflected, and analyzed with the BIREME team from a comprehensive systemic approach, allowed us to characterize a scenario of where and how to move with safety and quality to achieve the objectives of the mission. I am very motivated and committed to follow up on this experience and implement it in my country. A thousand thanks for your warm attention and welcome, we feel part of this family.” (Mrs. Venus Caballero)

The meeting was closed by Dr. Diego Gonzalez, BIREME Director, who emphasized BIREME priority to work with the key countries through PAHO/WHO country offices and reiterated the commitment of putting the action in progress the plan developed during the mission. He thanked Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto and Dr. Pedro López, respectively, Representative and Country Office Consultant, the mission facilities and organization.

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