BIREME Bulletin n° 35

RELACSIS, IS4H, and BIREME: Together on the path towards strengthening information systems for health

Both BIREME and the coordination of RELACSIS and IS4H belong to the PAHO/WO  Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH). According to Dr. Diego González, Director of BIREME, who presented during the event the Center’s mission, priorities and main products and services, “the event was an opportunity to strengthen ties with a successful network and to identify actions in which we can work together inter-programmatically, with the objective of contributing to strengthen health information systems in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The main objectives of the meeting were: (1) Discuss the advances of strategic activities developed within the framework of RELACSIS, as well as new challenges, (2) System of vital statistics of the countries and actions to be included in a regional plan based on South-South exchange and cooperation, (3) Discuss proposals of lines of work 2020-2021, within the framework of the Plan for Strengthening of the Vital Statistics (PEV, Spanish acronym) 2017-2022, (4) Presentation of the proposal of maturity model for health information systems (IS4H).

In addition to the presentation of the Plan for Strengthening of Vital Statistics, work was made on advances, limitations of the work from previous years and the elaboration of future proposal, from the updating of the state of the situation of information systems for health  (IS4H), which was planned as the first activity of the Vital Statistics Plan (PEV). Another element discussed was the Plan of Action for the Strengthening Information Systems for Health 2019-2023, which will be analyzed by Member States during the next PAHO Directive Council, in October 2019.

arg_aAccording to Patricia L. Ruiz, Technical Secretary of RELACSIS/PAHO, “the network allows working with the needs identified by the countries as priorities, within the framework of the Plan for Strengthening of Vital Statistics 2017-2022. In this manner, common problems are identified with answers that arise from successful experiences from within the countries, with the valuable support of Collaborating Centers for the Family of International Classifications, of specialist networks and could be expanded with other existing networks, such as the ones coordinated by or in which BIREME participates. RELACSIS is being strengthened and will expand its work spectrum, without losing its participative essence, more so now that it has been integrated to the IS4H and has found a new ally, which is BIREME. RELACSIS is fruit of almost 10 years of effort and work with, for and among the countries”.

According to Marcelo D’Agostino, Main Advisor on Health Information Systems, “the main objective of the Information Systems for Health  (IS4H) is to introduce a new vision that can help to establish a general framework of operations and a common comprehension of the specific component of Health Information Systems. In this sense, PAHO is completely engaged in working with all its member countries in IS4H initiatives both regionally and nationally. The role played by BIREME in implementing the Plan of Action for the Strengthening of Information Systems is a key role, especially in strategic area 3 of Information and Knowledge Management. We have much to learn from BIREME about networking”.

The IX Meeting in numbers

  • 120 representatives from 32 countries of the Region of the Americas, among them Directors of the Health Information Systems of the Ministries of Health; Representatives responsible for Vital Statistics of the National Statistic Offices;
  • 5 PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centers (CC): 3 CC for the Family of International Classifications: from Mexico (CEMECE), Argentina (CACE) and Cuba (CEUCE), CC on digital health (Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires – HIBA) and via Webex, the CC in Telemedicine of the Universidad Abierta de Catalunya (UOC).
  • 4 International Agencies: World Bank, UNFPA, CELADE/CEPAL and PAHO/WHO.
  • 2 PAHO/WHO Specialized Centers: BIREME and CLAP.
  • 4 Universities: Universidade de SĂŁo Paulo, Brazil (USP); Universidad Nacional AutĂłnoma de Nicaragua (UNAN); Universidad de CĂłrdoba, Argentina (UDC); Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).
  • 130 posters on topics related to vital statistics and information systems for health. Among these, 6 posters were awarded for being the most voted by participants.

relacsis1Links of interest (in Spanish):



Video summarizing the main activities developed during the event:

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