Within the framework of the analysis of its 2020-2021 Work Plan (BWP 20-21) and even though in emergency teleworking during the global pandemic of COVID-19 since mid-March/20, BIREME/PAHO/WHO achieved important advances. Ten of the main results achieved in the first semester of 2020 are shared here, especially scientific information on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
Products and services developed to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic with information and evidence (COVID-19 Windows of Knowledge, Support for the WHO Database on COVID-19 and PAHO Evidence, Map of Evidence, e-BlueInfo Application adapted for COVID-19, Support for the development of Nursing-COVID19 Windows of Knowledge, MTCI-COVID19, Network of Referees developing search strategies on COVID-19, among others);
- DeCS 2020 published with 297 new descriptors (https://decs.bvsalud.org/en), a new platform with a web service for identifying DeCS/MeSH terms;
- Effective action with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Regional Offices through the operation of the Global Index Medicus Platform (GIM), whose search interface was used for the development and implementation of the COVID-19 database from WHO;
- Platform and system developments: (1) impact measurement (IM) of BIREME’s information products and services; and (2) livezilla as a communication tool with the user in the COVID-19 windows of knowledge and the Regional Portal.
- Strengthening of network action through an action plan in execution for the VHL Network (http://red.bvsalud.org/), with active participation of the network coordinators at the country level (http://red.bvsalud.org/modelo-bvs/es/fortalecimiento-de-la-red-bvs-alc-plan-accion-2020/); update of the VHL Guide document and review of the criteria for evaluating the maturity of VHL instances. (http://red.bvsalud.org/modelo-bvs); LILACS trainings (http://red.bvsalud.org/capacitacao/pt/editores-de-periodicas/); and operation of the Network of Reference Librarians (https://bvsalud.org/queries/?l=pt_BR).
- Adaptation and application of the Evidence Gap Map Methodology in more than ten maps of evidence on clinical effectiveness of integrative health practices, reduction of health inequalities and other issues. (http://mtci.bvsalud.org/mapas-de-evidencia/).
- Actions resulting from the project “Improvement of the Management of the Executive Secretariat of the Ministry of Health of Brazil – SE/MS” of TC95 in the context of macro-activities: (i) promote the use of open access information and technical scientific evidence within the scope of SUS (Unified Health System); and (ii) strengthen the management and dissemination of the Virtual Health Library (VHL) in Brazil (http://brasil.bvs.br/). BIREME contributed through the VHL and its information sources, in favor of the strengthening of the Health Information Networks, VHL Brazil and BiblioSUS, with open access availability to information and evidence;
- Effective follow-up actions on the current agreements, especially TA1/TC93 and TA6/TC95 with the development of the respective projects, preparation of technical reports, in addition to the organization and presentation of online meetings in conjunction with the technical areas from BIREME, PAHO/WHO Brazil, PAHO/WHO Headquarters and national and international counterparts;
- Effective management of BIREME Operations, even in emergency teleworking due to the COVID-19 pandemic with effective IT infrastructure with operation of ICT services, servers and platforms, and maintaining regular actions to support the development of skills and strengthening the organizational climate: coordination with the HHRR Departments of PAHO/WHO, PAHO/WHO Brazil and SPDM/HSP; monthly Coffee with Ideas to share the main activities and developments of the month and celebrate birthdays collectively; and work gymnastics once a week developed virtually. These lines of action contribute to the exchange of information and knowledge for learning; and
- Effective scientific communication actions in health with training actions and more than 10,000 enrolled in the virtual self-learning course; and institutional communication actions with the preparation of Communication Plans for TA6/TC95 and TA5/TC71 and effective operation of BIREME’s formal communication channels (Institutional Web page, Intranet, Facebook, Twitter, PSI and plasma-TV) . The BIREME Newsletter is in its 46th version and is published monthly in the Spanish, English and Portuguese languages.
According to Diego González, Director of BIREME, “The first semester of 2020 was very challenging to be able to advance with the operations of the Center and with the development of the products and services planned in the biannual work plan, and the attitude of the entire Center staff who, despite the adverse conditions, made every effort to continue offering health scientific information services for Latin America and the Caribbean and give priority to the development of products related to COVID-19, such as the windows of knowledge, the Evidence map of the contributions of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine for the management of COVID-19, the use of the e-BlueInfo application for Primary Health Care adapted to the pandemic, support for the development of the Database of WHO on COVID-19, among many others.”