BIREME Bulletin n° 46

Window of Knowledge provides information on Nursing in the context of Covid-19

The Window of Knowledge Nursing-Covid-19 was launched on July 28 in a virtual session for Latin America and the Caribbean (LA&C). The innovative format platform gathers scientific articles, technical documents, online courses, learning material, multimedia content such as videos and podcasts, webinars, blogs and other information sources for health professionals, especially in the field of nursing, researchers, technicians, students of health courses and the general public about nursing care to patient with Covid-19, in addition to enabling interaction between professionals and researchers.

The Window of Knowledge is the result of the intense work of the International Nursing Network, the Advisory Committee of the International Nursing Virtual Health Library and the Escola de Enfermagem da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, with the collaboration of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) through the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME).

The launch session was moderated by Francisco Lana, Full Professor at the Escola de Enfermagem da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) and Coordinator of the VHL Nursing, who introduced the speakers and coordinated the comments along the session.

Diego González, Director of BIREME highlighted and congratulated everyone for the collaborative work that allowed the construction of the Window of Knowledge, using the methodology developed by BIREME, and stated that the collaboration provided by the PAHO/WHO Specialized Center is part of its mission to democratize the access to information, knowledge and evidence for health decision making.

vitrine_enf_confNext, VerĂ´nica Abdala, Information Sources Manager at BIREME, described the methodology for building the Window of Knowledge, showing the stages of its development, from the definition of the theme, organization and identification of the content, creation of the visual identity (layout) , until its publication and wide dissemination. The Window of Knowledge is a source of information that systematically gathers and highlights the most current and relevant information on a given topic and counts on the participation and validation of specialists in the area in the process of selecting information sources. All the contents of the Window of Knowledge are indexed and registered in the collection of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), in this case, the International Nursing VHL.

vitrine_enf_veroAllana dos Reis CorrĂŞa, Associated Professor at the Escola de Enfermagem da UFMG , was the coordinator of the working group for the development of the Window of Knowledge Nursing-COVID-19, the group with several specialist professionals in the field of Nursing was responsible for selecting the sources of information and documents to be made available in the Window of Knowledge, then under development.

The selection process of documents that best addressed the Nursing topic in the context of Covid-19 was done through descriptors and development of search strategies in the VHL Nursing databases and relied on the participation and guidance of BIREME/PAHO/WHO information professionals.

The Professor pointed out that the information sources in the Window of Knowledge are categorized into six types: Scientific information; Nursing work; Learning and communication material; Technical documents; Online course; and Research projects in development. Special emphasis was given to the category Nursing work, which contains publications on guides, standards, policies and occupational hazards for nursing professionals during care of patients with Covid-19, a very relevant aspect to be considered in the current pandemic, and that, according to Allana, must be permanently updated, to also include aspects of legislation and health of the nursing worker. The orientation aspect to the general population, another aspect of great importance in the control of the pandemic is addressed in the category Learning and communication material, which contains videos, podcasts, blogs, guides and information leaflets.

vitrine_enf_allanaThe Technical Documents area is intended for nursing professionals of different specialties. There one can find guides and protocols on mental health, palliative care, maternal and child health, critical patient care, primary health care, health of the elderly and other topics. The Online courses category is also dedicated to nursing staff and refers, to those interested, to a list of courses for professional improvement, including language and requirements necessary for the selection process.

Finally, the Research projects under development in this category include technical documents to guide research projects that have already been approved and are also under development in academic institutions, duly approved by the research ethics committees in Brazil and in the countries of LA&C.

Professor Allana Corrêa also pointed out that the Window of Knowledge Nursing-Covid-19 is under development and will be permanently updated, and states that this is an important action, as it is being inaugurated in the International Year of Nursing, and is part of the VHL Nursing effort to create the Nursing Now Window of Knowledge, scheduled for launch next September. Allana states that “faced with a delicate moment and so many uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, the launch of the Window of Knowledge Nursing-COVID-19 translates the concretization of a project that, in addition to the systematization and dissemination of knowledge, expands the possibility of connection in network among researchers, professors, students and professionals who work in health and nursing care in Latin American countries. There were intense manifestations of contributions to the dynamic and continuous process of updating the Window of Knowledge. The interaction and contribution in the network will certainly promote a safer performance of nursing, which impels us to continue investing and disseminating the VHL Nursing. It was a pleasure to present the Window of Knowledge on the date of its launch!”

Besides the presentations in the context of the launching of the Window of Knowledge, the session counted with the testimony of relevant actors from the Latin American nursing scene and who are part of the Nursing Network. Initially, Silvia Cassiani, Regional Advisor for Nursing and Health Technicians, of the Human Resources in Health Unit, of the PAHO/WHO Department of Health Systems and Services, spoke of the excess of information about Covid-19 – the infodemia – which can even worsen the pandemic because shared information does not always come from a reliable source or is true. In this sense, the Window of Knowledge Nursing Covid-19 contributes to disseminate accredited information from reliable sources.

Maria Helena Marziale, Full Professor and Director of the Escola de Enfermagem de RibeirĂŁo Preto da Universidade de SĂŁo Paulo, congratulated everyone involved in the collective construction of the Window of Knowledge and highlights the scientific quality of the documents and content available in their information sources, target audience not only the academy and health professionals, but society in general, for the collective confrontation of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Marziale points out, it favors the formation of partnerships between sectors, which is always positive.

vitrine_enf_comentFollowing up on the comments, Olivia Sanhueza, Professor of Nursing, Universidad de ConcepciĂłn, Chile, and President of the AsociaciĂłn Latinoamericana de Escuelas y Faculdades de EnfermerĂ­a (Aladefe) congratulated the VHL International Nursing and BIREME for the initiative and considers that this initiative will allow the academic community to have access to quality information more quickly and easily, as well as to the projects under development in the countries, and in this way, to establish collaborations, so necessary today to answer the questions about treatments and procedures in the confrontation of Covid-19.

Silvina Malvárez, Nurse from the Universidad Nacional de Códoba, Argentina, specialized in Mental Health. She was a PAHO/WHO Advisor in the field of Nursing, working on the qualification of nursing and patient care and received numerous awards for her work at PAHO and in her home country. In her opinion, the Window of Knowledge is a special instance in the International Year of Nursing and highlights essentially the work focused on the health of the populations. It is a high-quality knowledge portal that will translate into better nursing care. Malvárez stated that “this quality milestone, which involves networks and BIREME, translates into the ability to interact and to consider the knowledge of others. I congratulate everyone involved in this collective construction”.

The Director of the UFMG School of Nursing, Professor SĂ´nia Soares spoke on behalf of the institution that hosts the Executive Secretariat of the VHL Nursing and has spared no efforts to support the Window of Knowledge Nursing-Covid-19 Working Group. According to the Director, the Window of Knowledge reflects what nursing does as the essence of its work in this historic moment of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nursing care at this moment has become imperative, and this universality, at the same time, acquires a unique character in the experience of each professional, each institution, in each country. The exercise of cooperation and reciprocity requires mutual trust to achieve common goals, and in building this Window of Knowledge we exercise this trust.

Concluding the comments, the representatives of Cuba Lázaro Luis Hernández Vergel, Editor of Revista Cubana de Enfermería and member of the international journal evaluation committee of the VHL Nursing in the scope of BDENF and LILACS, accompanied by José Henrique Alfonso, director of the Editorial Magazines Department of Medical Sciences, spoke about nursing staff in his country, of the order of 84 thousand professionals, of which about 60% have higher education, and their distribution in relation to the population is 75 professionals/10,000 inhabitants, which allows a level of care more than satisfactory for Covid-19 patients, according to Alfonso, as well as sending these professionals to other countries, not only in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also pointed out that the Red Enfermería en Cuba website (EcuRed), reserved a space to publish working protocols related to the Covid-19 topic.

dg-flFrancisco Lana, in his final remarks, acknowledged the speakers Verônica Abdala and Allana do Reis Corrêa, and once again congratulated all professionals who participated in the construction of the Window of Knowledge Nursing-Covid-19. He stressed that it is important to make the Window of Knowledge widely known to maximize its access and use of its information sources. In turn, Diego González also thanked the enthusiasm of those responsible for the creation of the Window of Knowledge, emphasizing that it is a platform in constant update, “a product resulting from the collaborative work in a network of excellence and that used a lot of methodology developed by the Center and that will always rely on our support ”, he summarized.

The broadcast of the launch was attended by more than 150 participants through the Zoom platform and more than 100 participations and interactions from many countries on YouTube through the PAHO TV channel. The session was recorded and can be watched.

About the Window of Knowledge

The Window of Knowledge is a resource of the Virtual Health Library (VHL) developed by BIREME that aims at providing visibility and access to the main documents and other information resources in a priority health topic. Learn more about the process of building Windows of Knowledge[1]. The VHL Regional Portal provides its collection of Windows of Knowledge on many topics. Among these, the Window of Knowledge on Covid-19, available in three languages, is highlighted.


[1]Knowledge Showcases – A new concept for highlighting health information on the VHL. BIREME Bulletin BIREME n° 31. Available from:

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