With the objective of strengthening health information and knowledge management in Paraguay, both key topics for access to scientific and technical information, a technical cooperation mission and technical courses for librarians and members of the Red de Información en Salud de Paraguay (REDISAL – Paraguayan Health Information Network) took place from September 17 to 21, 2018, fostered by the PAHO/WHO Representation in the country, the Instituto Nacional de Salud/Biblioteca Nacional de Salud (National Health Institute/National Health Library) and the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO).
The mission’s objectives were to strengthen REDISAL and update the products and services of the VHL in Paraguay. Two workshops were offered: “Updating the VHL Portal in Paraguay” and “Course on the use of the description and indexation system for the LILACS database and the Base de Datos Nacional de Paraguay (BDNPAR – Paraguayan National Database)”.
The workshop on “Updating the VHL Portal in Paraguay” was given by Juliana Sousa, librarian of the VHL Model at BIREME. The main goal is to restructure VHL Paraguay to respond to the country’s health needs and priorities. By applying the methodologies of the workshop, new content for the VHL Portal was identified, a revision of actual contents took place and, in the end, a new and more organized portal was developed, with content and sections directed to different public and exhibiting a more modern layout.
The workshop “Workshop on the use of the description and indexation system for the LILACS database and the Base de Datos Nacional de Paraguay (BDNPAR – Paraguayan National Database)”, ministered by Sueli Suga, librarian of the Referential Information Sources Unit and in charge of the LILACS database in BIREME, aimed at strengthening REDISAL for the update of the country’s national database, in order to give visibility to scientific and technical production. It was attended by thirty representatives from Paraguayan health institutions. At the end of the workshop, the Paraguayan National Database was updated with approximately 60 new documents. The re-launching of the new Paraguayan VHL is scheduled for November 2018.
Within the framework of the workshop for strengthening the Paraguayan Virtual Health Library, an official transfer of the bibliographic collection and equipment of the PAHO/WHO Documentation Center in Paraguay to the National Health Library, from the National Health Institute, as a National Coordinating Center.
The event featured a welcome from the part of Dr. José Darío Ramírez, Director General of the National Health Institute, an opening speech by Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto, PAHO/WHO Representative in Paraguay, a speech by Sueli Suga, representing BIREME, and a closing speech delivered by the Minister Dr. Julio Mazzoleni. At the closing ceremony, an artistic presentation took place, as well as an official clearance and tour of the National Health Library.
The Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS – National Health Institute), assumes the role of National Coordinating Center, whose objective is to achieve equitable and universal access to scientific and technical health information. “We are thankful for trusting the capacity of the INS to strengthen the National Coordinating Center. We will continue to work for the dissemination of knowledge, open access to quality health information in a globalized and updated manner, which will allow us to continue to grow as a country in the field of health research,” remarked José Darío Ramírez, Director of the institution.
The Minister of Public Health and Social Well-Being, Dr. Julio Mazzoleni, expressed that the Virtual Health Library is an important tool, as it allows just and democratic access to all types of information. “We acknowledge the need for continuous courses for our health staff. The possibility of having data for research, management and projects, for generating health policies, all of this is based on the priceless support provided by this sort of enterprise”, he affirmed.
This mission is part of the Working Plan developed in September 2017, during a technical visit of the PWR PRY Information and Knowledge Management Group to BIREME headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil, from February 19 to 21, 2018.
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