Phase III of the new technical cooperation agreement between the Municipal Health Secretariat of São Paulo (SMS – São Paulo) and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization for BIREME was formalized. On July 14, a meeting was held between the teams of SMS-São Paulo and the Center to advance developments in this context, and a retrospective of the activities already carried out was presented. Phase I, formalized in 2010, had as its main objective the development of the Virtual Health Library of the SMS-São Paulo (SMS-São Paulo VHL), followed by phase II, in 2013, which focused on its strengthening, development and technical support. The third agreement that is being initiated is mainly aimed at promoting its maintenance and technical and methodological support, as well as the updating and inclusion of new sources of information in the SMS-São Paulo VHL.
Diego González, Director of BIREME, highlighted the historical importance of cooperation between BIREME and SMS-São Paulo, and that during his tenure he always prioritized cooperation at the local level, with local municipalities. Silvia Almeida de Valentin, Manager of Administration and Planning at BIREME, and focal point of the processing and approval protocols, reaffirmed the importance of establishing agreements with national organizations, such as this one that is more than ten years old, to support local capacity building in health. The Director of the Municipal Health School (EMS), Marcelo Scrocco, the Coordinator of Personnel Management of the SMS-São Paulo, Patricia Ferreira Pallota, and the librarian and coordinator of the SMS-São Paulo VHL, Marine Arakaki represented the Secretariat and were unanimous about the importance and continuity of the developments with BIREME/PAHO/WHO.The Director of the EMS, Marcelo Scrocco, said that “the renewal of the contract with PAHO/BIREME represents opportunities for the dissemination of knowledge, stimulating scientific writing and a wide availability of access to the experiences that took place in the city. We are very excited about it! With the third phase of the collaboration, we will seek a broad participation in the local health network in order to leverage this wonderful digital tool”.
During the meeting, librarian Juliana Sousa, from the VHL’s Instances and Project Monitoring Area, said that “the SMS-São Paulo VHL was very important for BIREME, because we were able to develop new sources of information that today are also available to the entire VHL Network. Much of the work we do with the Secretariat and the VHL Network has been replicated in other initiatives, ideas, new sources of information, such as experience reports and multimedia. It is a project that impacts the entire VHL Network because of the innovations made possible through it”.
Marine Arakaki, coordinator of the Documentation Center of the EMS, highlighted “the commitment of all those involved in the signing of the 3rd Agreement of the Municipal Secretariat of Health of São Paulo with PAHO/WHO/BIREME for the maintenance and strengthening of the SMS-São Paulo VHL, which will enable a renewal in its portal and increase to users the availability of technical, scientific and teaching knowledge of the different technical areas of the SMS in a collective network while maintaining its prominence”.
Verônica Abdala, Manager of Production of Information Sources/Cooperative Information Services (PFI/SCI), recalled that during the previous phases there was an approximation between the VHL SMS-São Paulo and the Telessaúde Program of the municipality, and suggests that this interaction be resumed, due to the importance that Telessaúde has acquired, especially in the current circumstances.
History of the Agreement and prospects
One of the main clusters is the launch of the VHL SMS-São Paulo, held in August 2011 with the technical support of BIREME/PAHO/WHO, making it the first VHL of a municipal body in Brazil. The VHL SMS-São Paulo was conceived due to the need to implement new electronic tools to allow the promotion, expansion and strengthening of technical, scientific, and teaching areas, in order to disseminate, publicize and make available in full text the production of the Secretariat, as a contribution to the development of collective health and the strengthening of the SUS (Brazil’s universal health care system). In 2016, the VHL SMS-São Paulo was updated, with the presentation of a more modern and interactive version.
For phase III of the Agreement, signed in May 2021 and which will last until May 2025, the plan is to update and maintain the VHL SMS-São Paulo for the consolidation and strengthening of local capacities in knowledge management and information management. Phase III already takes into account the new needs presented by the EMS team of the SMS-São Paulo, especially with regards to the realignment and reformulation of the SMS-São Paulo VHL Portal, the updating of contents in the SMS-São Paulo VHL collection and the reactivation of the collaboration network with broad participation of the technical areas of the Secretariat, in addition to updating the information source Experience Reports and the development of Windows of Knowledge to highlight relevant pieces of content about a certain health issue and/or priorities of the City of São Paulo.