The technical cooperation of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) is characterized by its regional operation on behalf of equitable access to information, knowledge and scientific health evidence from countries in the Region. The Center currently operates in a network with more than two thousand institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In this sense, BIREME works in coordination with the PAHO/WHO Country Offices and counterparts to achieve health outcomes at the organizational, national and international levels. In Brazil’s case, the Ministry of Health is the main counterpart, who is also a permanent member of BIREME’s Governance Committees, the Advisory Committee (CA) and Scientific Committee (CC), which meet once a year to evaluate and discuss recommendations for the improvement and strengthening of BIREME’s regional technical cooperation results, including those related to national priorities.
According to Dr. Socorro Gross, the PAHO/WHO Representative in Brazil, “Brazil’s confidence in PAHO/WHO is reflected in the technical cooperation provided in areas of fundamental importance for the country, such as vaccination, preparedness and response to health emergencies, reducing maternal mortality, strengthening primary care, encouraging the practice of physical activity, promoting healthy eating, combating arboviruses, among several other actions to strengthen SUS. In this sense, BIREME has been a fundamental partner in the management of information and knowledge, ensuring that evidence is part of health processes and decisions and is also present across all technical cooperation actions.”
In the 2018-2019 biennium, BIREME/PAHO/WHO cooperated with more than 10 (ten) Cooperation Agreements (TC) established between PAHO/WHO Brazil and the Ministry of Health, supporting the information and knowledge management component, considering its performance and experience in the area and, especially, the regional coordination through networking with 30 (thirty) countries in the Region, implementation and development such as the Virtual Health Library (VHL) and its sources of information, the Descriptors in Health Science (DeCS), and the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Index (LILACS), among other products and services in scientific communication.
Following are the Cooperation Agreements in which BIREME contributed to and a brief description:
|TC 44 Strengthening, Development and Technical Support for the Virtual Health Library (VHL) of the Municipal Health Secretariat of São Paulo and continuity of the implementation of the VHL SMS São Paulo|
|TC 52 Strategic Planning of the Unified Health System (SUS) in the State of São Paulo|
|TC 57 Management of Education and Work in SUS|
|TC 60 Support to the National Council of Health Secretaries (CONASS) to strengthen the state’s SUS management|
|TC 64 Health Surveillance Actions under the National Health Surveillance System and SUS|
|TC 76 Innovation and Regulation in Health (via Bioethics/HSS – OC)|
|TC 80 The Brazilian population’s access to Primary Health Care|
|TC 87 Healthy and Sustainable Territories through Environmental Health actions|
|TC 93 (*) Development and improvement of BIREME in the context of information and knowledge management in the 2030 Agenda and Universal Health|
|TC 94 Strengthening and Improving SUS Management Capacity in the State of Tocantins|
|TC 95 Management Improvement of the Executive Secretariat of the Brazil Ministry of Health – SE/MS|
|TC 98 Improvement of the national primary health care policy, through the family health strategy, the national food and nutrition policy, and other policies and programs towards universal access to health and universal health coverage|
(*) TC93 is formalized by PAHO/WHO Brazil, however, it is exclusive for the improvement of BIREME/PAHO/WHO management and technical cooperation.
This is also an effort to raise financial resources for the implementation of the Center’s Biannual Work Plans (PTB), which are in line with regional and global PAHO/WHO mandates and whose developments can also be used by other countries in the Region, demanding professional and coordinated performance by the program, project and administration management teams, both from BIREME/PAHO/WHO and from PAHO/WHO Brazil, which has been very positive over the past few years. Consensus is expressed by Diego Gonzalez Machín, Director of BIREME and Silvia Almeida de Valentin, Manager of Administration and Planning (GA) at BIREME/PAHO/WHO.
The participation of BIREME/PAHO/WHO in these Cooperation Agreements generates important results that impact the management, access and use of health information and evidence in the three areas of government. At the municipal and state levels, cooperation with the Health Secretariats of the Municipality (SMS) and the State (SES) of São Paulo are success stories that demonstrate the application of the VHL model within health institutions, considering the operation of the VHL SMS-SP and VHL SES-SP portals, which, among other functions, organize and give visibility and access to the technical and scientific knowledge produced in these Secretariats.
At the federal level, the adoption of the VHL by the Ministry of Health has enabled the strengthening of the BiblioSUS Network, made up of libraries and information and documentation centers that maintain the National Collection of Information Sources of the Unified Health System – ColecionaSUS, which is integrated both in the VHL Ministry of Health, as in the instances of VHL Brazil and its thematic networks.
Also noteworthy are the VHL in Primary Health Care (PHC), associated with the National “Telessaúde Brasil Redes” Program, which has more than 1.3 million visits every month, and the development of new information products and services, such as the e-BlueInfo App, Evidence Maps and visualization panels of indicators of scientific production in health.
According to Luciana Chagas, the PAHO/WHO Brazil Planning, Program and Project Coordinator, “the technical cooperation carried out by PAHO/WHO through TCs aims at delivering health results. The production, registration and dissemination of information and knowledge obtained from these results are part of BIREME’s added value. The consolidated experience in results-based management, information and knowledge acquired by Brazil, the PAHO/WHO country office and BIREME allows for progress in improving the use of this cooperation tool and increasing the visibility of its results at the national and international levels.”
Pan American Health Organization. Technical Cooperation Agreements signed by PAHO/WHO with Brazil (in Portuguese). Brasília. Available at: https://www.paho.org/bra/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=756&Itemid=610
Pan American Health Organization. Cooperation Agreements/Adjustment Terms (TC/TA) with the Ministry of Health (in Portuguese). Brasília. Available at: https://www.paho.org/bra/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=1015&Itemid=517