BIREME Bulletin n° 29

Project to develop the first Municipal Virtual Health Library has been concluded

Within the framework of CT44 – Policies for Strategic and Participative Management of the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde – SUS), BIREME maintains a line of action with the Municipal Health Secretariat (Secretaria Municipal de Saúde –SMS) of São Paulo for the development of its Virtual Health Library (VHL SMS São Paulo). The VHL was launched on August 23, 2011, with the technical support of the Latin American and Caribbean Center for Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), becoming the first municipal VHL in the VHL Network.

Coordinated by the Municipal Secretariat, the VHL SMS São Paulo was conceived through the need for implanting new electronic tools that enable the promotion, enlargement and strengthening of its technical, scientific and teaching areas, in order to disseminate, publicize and render available in full text the scientific and technical output of the Secretariat, thus contributing to the development of collective health and the strengthening of the SUS.

The alliance with the Town Hall of the city of São Paulo began in mid 2010; the second stage of the project was renewed in 2013, extending from 2014 to 2016, with the objective of strengthening the VHL SMS São Paulo as reference space for the development of the capacities of professionals from the Municipal Health Secretariat for the management, operation and maintenance of the VHL SMS São Paulo, thus collaborating with the promotion of the Secretariat’s scientific, technical and teaching communication.

bvs-sms-spCT44 received five additional terms (AT) which allowed to continue the work with the SMS for a total of five years of alliance (2014-2018), during which it was possible develop new information sources, products and services, such as:

  • The inclusion of the Telehealth (Telessaúde) Program to the Municipal Networks of São Paulo, considering the implementation of the following services: telecommunication, telediagnosis, teleeducation, and the production of Formative Second Opinions (FSO);
  • A Portal for the publication of institutional videos from the SMS and from the Town Hall of São Paulo, with the objective of generating knowledge and raising awareness on healthy habits that can improve the quality of life and contribute to the development of public health and to the strengthening of the SUS;
  • A Portal for sharing experiences and successful cases for health professionals, democratizing and socializing the access and use of technical and scientific information generated in the work processes of the SMS, with the objective of generating a positive impact in the quality of health services provided to the population through the SUS. The experience reports were idealized as reference material for managers and other health professionals – aiding in decision-making, definition of strategies and execution of programs and policies.

Besides the new products and services, the VHL Portal, their particular Digital Collection, which is the base for technical and informative production delivered by the different technical fields of the SMS, and the Physical Collection, which is a collection composed of publications from existing commercial editors form the available in the physical libraries of the SMS, are all updated periodically by the technical team of the SMS, coordinated by the Municipal Health School. Currently, over 12,000 documents are available in the VHL SMS, including technical and scientific papers, monographs, case reports, management manuals and informs, statistic data, and educational resources, pamphlets and multimedia. Considering the period extending from January 2014 to December 2018, the VHL SMS Portal received over 240,000 visits.

Source: TC 44 – Política de Gestão Estratégica e Participativa do SUS. Available from: (in Portuguese)

About the Cooperation Terms with PAHO

The practice of working with programs and projects facilitates the dissemination of information and the socialization of internal experiences, as well as guarantees the transparency of management and the accountability of PAHO/WHO to its allies.

The planning actions of PAHO/WHO in Brazil support the Brazilian government, the Region and other institutional partners to evaluate the products of the technical cooperation and to identify possibilities of disseminating experiences, important actions for guaranteeing the improvement of the health of the population. Furthermore, it allows rationalizing the use and distribution of budget resources in the execution of technical cooperation activities.

The CTs are work instruments used to consolidate this practice and enable the technical cooperation of the PAHO/WHO in Brazil. The CTs are projects that define results, indicators and actions to be executed, aligned to the priorities of the Organization and to the country’s strategic objectives. These actions aim to contribute to overcome challenges and to the strengthening and improvement of the Unified Health System, as well as to consolidate governmental initiatives in the South-South cooperation sphere.

Translated from: OPAS Brasil. Termos de Cooperação Técnica. Available from: (in Portuguese)

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