With the theme “The importance of working within networks in the health area”, on June 4th took place the first of a series of six webinars for the Networks that make up the Brazilian Health Sciences Information Network (Brazil VHL Network). The initiative is part of the cooperation established between BIREME and the Ministry of Health, through the General Coordination of Documentation and Information of the Ministry of Health (CGDI/SAA/SE/MS), and aims to strengthen the VHL Brazil and , in particular, the Unified Health System Library Network (BiblioSUS Network).
The first webinar had approximately 180 participants and three presentations. Silvia de Valentin, Administrative and Planning Manager at BIREME, presented and moderated the event, highlighting the online nature of the seminar due to Covid-19. Silvia stated that, in order to respond to the pandemic and the challenges surrounding current critical issues, while maintaining social distancing, we must contribute to build a better future, where each and every one will be able to fully achieve realization in solidarity and with mutual respect.
The online event had as its first speaker the Director of BIREME, Diego González. His experience with networks began when he created with institutions and colleagues in the field of toxicology and chemical emergencies – his previous specialty – collaboration networks in Latin America and the Caribbean with which he developed his work, considering the rich experience of professionals in the area in the Region. In directing BIREME from mid-2016, he was pleased to find that networks were the sine qua non form of operating information sources, software developers, information and knowledge management systems, and many others, bringing benefits and results that otherwise would possibly not be obtained. In his presentation, he highlighted the importance of communication in networks and the main benefits they bring, mainly for the exchange of information, experiences and the collective construction of products and services.
Then, Veronica Abdala presented the VHL Network, a model of health information and knowledge management that has characterized BIREME’s technical cooperation program since 1998, explaining its characteristic of ‘network of networks’, to provide broad access to information and scientific health evidence. Characterized by three dimensions – collaboration networks, content networks and user networks, the VHL network has expanded beyond the borders of Latin America and the Caribbean, to reach Ibero-America and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world. The Brazil VHL Network, which includes the BiblioSUS Network, brings together hundreds of institutions, libraries and participating units with different functions, to together index and include the scientific and technical literature produced in the four corners of the country in online content, accessible and available to all, inclusively. Thus, regional health issues have national visibility and are part of the collections of databases that constitute the information sources of the VHL network. Noteworthy are the international thematic networks that are part of the network, such as the Nursing network and the Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine network.
Veronica also highlighted the products and services of the VHL network and that serve its users, such as the Windows of Knowledge on topics of national and regional interest, the evidence maps, and applications such as MyVHL and e-BlueInfo, to name just a few.
Shirlei Rodrigues, Coordinator of the VHL Brazil Network and the BiblioSUS Network, representing the Ministry of Health, BIREME’s main institutional partner for over 53 years, presented the ‘BiblioSUS Network: who we are, where we are’.
The BiblioSUS network, a network of Cooperating Health Libraries and Information Units is part of the VHL network, has 501 Cooperating Centers and 985 Cooperating Units across the national territory, which contribute to the bibliographic record of the scientific and technical production of each municipality in all Brazilian states through the ColecionaSUS database, created in 2004 and which today consists of 387 Cooperating Units.
According to Shirlei, the objective of the BiblioSUS network nowadays is to regionalize the network, i.e., to rely on partners in each state of Brazil to feed the document repository, and to carry out the monitoring of the network through a coordinator in each state. We have in mind, says Shirlei, “to build a new model of decentralized management that has mutual participation as a guide – co-participation and dialogue – to be effective and impactful”. The data that the BiblioSUS network has on the infrastructure of the units – computerization, Internet access, etc. inform that this idealized model is feasible.
Numerous challenges remain, says Shirlei, “we need to talk to the SUS user, guide them on how to take care of their health”. She refers to addressing health issues in simple language, but with scientific rigor, when talking about chronic and communicable diseases efficiently so that the population can follow instructions and take better care of their health and the health of their family.
The speakers then began to answer the questions posted on the Teams platform chat, which contributed largely to a close interaction between the experts and the participating public.
At the end of the event, Silvia thanked the presence of everyone and especially the speakers from BIREME and the Ministry of Health, as well as the entire team of the Center, reminding everyone about the upcoming webinars that already have a date to occur, and are available on the link below.
The event program, the recording and the presentations, as well as the next webinars are available on the VHL Network Portal and will be disseminated through social media, also using the hashtag #redesBVSBiblioSUS, that is available to everyone who wishes to share the webinars.