BIREME Bulletin n° 77

BIREME continues cooperating with HSS/PAHO/WHO projects

In February 2023, Carla Saenz (PAHO/WHO Regional Bioethics Advisor) visited BIREME and met with the Center Director, João Paulo Souza, to discuss collaboration opportunities in three main topics: (1) Development of a research project on “How to communicate the notion of risk to the lay population?”; (2) Mapping health knowledge gaps project; and (3) Health implementation research.

These themes are part of a new BIREME Cooperation Strategy 2023-2025, which is under development, considering the successful mutual cooperation in the context of the ProEthos platform of the HSS Department (Health Systems and Services), led by the PAHO/WHO Bioethics team at its Headquarters

ProEthos – cooperation

Since 2015, BIREME has been supporting the PAHO/WHO Bioethics team in the development of the ProEthos platform. ProEthos was created to compile the ethical review of research on human subjects, supporting and strengthening the work of research ethics committees in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The first version of ProEthos was developed in cooperation with the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUC Paraná) with the participation of BIREME, which promoted its maintenance and adoption by the countries, according to the free and open software model. With the support of PAHO’s legal area, a software use license was elaborated by the Organization, adapted from an open license LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public Licence).

By the time of the I ProEthos Regional Workshop in 2015, ten countries in the region had adopted ProEthos: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago. Carla Saenz said on the occasion of the I Regional Workshop “There is great enthusiasm for ProEthos, because it responds to a genuine need of the ethics review committees in the region. The implementation process has been very enriching because it has involved the appropriation of the platform by the users, who have discovered ways to incorporate it into their processes and adjust it to their needs that we had not initially contemplated.”

In May 2017, the development of ProEthos 2 was completed, based on – then – current technologies and standards for web system developments that it was anticipated would facilitate its maintenance, updating, and adoption by other countries.

In 2019, PAHO archived all research protocols that had received support from the Organization in the previous ten years and thereby replaced a platform for previously used. Thus, all information, as of this date is available on a single platform, which makes it possible to consult historical information of ethics protocols reviewed until the start of operation with ProEthos.


Links of interest

Pautas éticas internacionales para la investigación relacionada con la salud con seres humanos. Elaboradas por el Consejo de Organizaciones Internacionales de las Ciencias Médicas (CIOMS) en colaboración con la Organización Mundial de la Salud. Available from:

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