On March 15th, a virtual session was held with the BIREME team, with the participation of the Director of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH) of PAHO/WHO and Interim Director of BIREME, Sebastián Garcia Saisó and the General Coordinator of Documentation and Information (CGDI), Shirlei Rodrigues, and Sandra Cristina Teixeira, responsible for the Dissemination of Technical-Scientific Information in Health, both linked to the Undersecretariat for Administrative Affairs of the Executive Secretariat of the Ministry of Health of Brazil (SAA/SE/MS).
The meeting, part of BIREME/PAHO/WHO’s project management methodology, aimed to report and validate the results programmed and achieved by the Center in the second half of 2021, in the context of the 6th Adjustment Term to the Cooperation Term 95 (TA6/TC95) and to progress activities of the Annual Work Plan (PTA) of the 9th Amendment to TC95 (TA9/TC95).
Sebastián Garcia Saiso welcomed the participants and highlighted the numerous results obtained by the BIREME teams in coordination with CGDI last semester. In particular, he stressed the scope of the VHL Brazil and the instances that make up the VHL Network, and the events held to guide the use of scientific information and evidence for decision making, specifically to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sebastián stated that he is very proud of the ongoing institutional relationship with CGDI/MS and the privilege of having an ecosystem of institutions throughout Brazil that have access to reliable health information, which strengthens BIREME and the Organization.
Next, Shirlei Rodrigues expressed her satisfaction and pride with the long-standing developments between CGDI and BIREME/PAHO/WHO. The availability of reliable information during the covid-19 pandemic through products and services specially developed by the Center was extremely important for researchers and health professionals. The recently reformulated VHL of the Ministry of Health constitutes a relevant source of information for thousands of professionals, having reached the mark of more than 1 million accesses per month. Shirlei acknowledged the directors of BIREME, “who have always shown great appreciation for the relationship with CGDI and have made the professional relationship very fruitful for all, a win-win relationship”.
According to the meeting’s agenda, presentations were made by the technical and administrative areas on the results obtained in the second half of 2021 and reported in the report sent to CGDI, highlighting:
- There was a significant increase in the number of records in databases that adopt the LILACS Methodology in 2021 due to the expanded process of migrating databases to the FI-Admin system. The contribution of the Brazilian network corresponds to 59% of the entire contribution to the various Information Sources of the VHL.
- The introductory self-learning course in scientific communication – since its inauguration (Jan/2021), with 1,300 enrollments of health professionals from Brazil and other countries in the region, as well as from Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries such as Mozambique and Angola. The course has been publicized on BIREME’s social networks and other communication channels.
- The Reference Network has the effective participation of the Brazil network, with professionals working in several areas such as: Oncology, Dentistry, Psychology, Veterinary, Public Health within Universities, Research Centers, Hospitals, etc.
- MS VHL is published and operating in the Ministry’s technological infrastructure, through collaborative and coordinated work with DataSUS and CGDI/SAA/SE.
- VHL MS’s 20th Anniversary and Launch Event took place on August 31, 2021, on the DataSUS live YouTube channel.
- The development of the new BiblioSUS Network Portal was completed, implementing a new information architecture and new functionalities.
- The 2021 Action Plan to strengthen the VHL Brazil Network – 6 virtual follow-up and technical/methodological support meetings were held to support VHL coordinators in the development of plan activities.
- The VHL Brazil Network adopted the Maturity Instrument and 17 VHLs filled out the Instrument, 11 of which were thematic, five institutional, and one biographical. The BIREME team continues to work regularly on the management and review of the Maturity Instrument for continuous improvement.
- Monitoring and institutional strengthening activities in the 2nd half of 2021 – (a) More than 10 meetings were held online, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, with focal points from the CGDI/SAA/SE/MS counterpart, and several specific meetings with the technical areas. (b) in 2021, management of 23 specialist contracts for CGDI/SAA/SE/MS institutional strengthening actions.
About the dynamics of the meeting
Silvia de Valentin, Administration and Planning Manager, thanked the BIREME team for the developments and contribution in the preparation of the technical report and justified the absence of a PAHO Brazil focal point at the meeting, which, however, works in coordination with BIREME. Silvia summarized the purpose of the TC95 and the monitoring of its development with management and financing elements.
Veronica Abdala, Manager of Services and Information Sources, and her team reported the planned results of macro activities A-10 – Promoting the use of information with open access and technical-scientific evidence within the scope of SUS; and A-11 – Strengthen the management and dissemination of the Virtual Health Library (VHL) in Brazil.
Marcos Mori, RST/MTI Supervisor, presented the results of the area of methodologies and information technologies with emphasis on the VHL MS already in production environment, updating the portal of the VHL Instances and the GNUTECA project.
Lilian Calò, Coordinator of Scholarly Communication in Health and Institutional Communication, reported on the communication activities involving the technical cooperation actions of the TC95-TA6 with the MS. Presenting the Communication Plan written specifically to respond to the institutional communication activities of the TA6/ TC95, Lilian briefly described BIREME’s communication channels and social networks on which the results of all macro-activities of the Cooperation Agreement were reported throughout the semester.
Regarding Scholarly Communication activities, she highlighted the Introductory Course on Scholarly Communication in Health in Portuguese, showing access statistics to date. She also informed that an advanced course in scientific communication, with a focus on Open Science, is being prepared to be published in Spanish by the end of 2022. This course could also be translated into Portuguese, like the introductory course, if there is interest on the part of CGDI.
Once the presentations of the results for the second half of 2021 were concluded, activities that will be part of the Annual Work Plan (PTA) TA9/TC95 were discussed. Within each macro-activity, the actions to be developed were extensively detailed and discussed between the parties.
The 2022 activities, already agreed upon between the teams, considering the activities (1) already carried out, (2) to be carried out in 2022; and (3) other new ones that will be carried out will be consolidated in a document to be shared. The new PTA 2022 approved and coordinated with PAHO/WHO Brazil will guide the activities of BIREME teams in 2022.