A new Window of Knowledge is now available on the Regional VHL Portal focusing on the theme of Health Promotion, bringing together over a hundred technical documents published from 2010 to the present day in 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The window also features updated publications from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on the subject, resulting in a selected information repository to support, at national and subregional levels, the implementation of the PAHO Strategy and Action Plan on Health Promotion within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Within the Window of Knowledge, users can explore videos and public health narratives, a toolbox for accessing additional health information sources, PAHO/WHO’s campaign pages, and a series of chosen strategic documents – all cataloged in the Virtual Health Library. As explained by Pilar Campos Esteban, PAHO’s Regional Advisor for Health Promotion and team member, “this Window is designed to be a dynamic space that will be updated with new contributions and gradually expanded to cover other areas of interest in health promotion included in the Regional Strategy.”
Currently available in two languages (Spanish and partially in English), searches and investigations in the collection can be filtered by country or theme. Currently, available themes are:
- Health Promotion Strategies, Plans, and Programs
- Healthy Municipalities, Cities, and Communities
- Healthy Environments: Health-promoting Schools; Healthy Housing; Health-promoting Universities; and Healthy Workplaces.
The Window of Knowledge ‘Health Promotion’ is the result of technical cooperation between the Latin American and Caribbean Center for Health Information (BIREME) and the Health Promotion and Social Determinants of Health Unit of the Department of Social and Environmental Determinants for Equity in Health (DHE), linked to the PAHO’s Health Promotion Page. The launch took place online on October 30, 2023, as part of the promotion schedule for the new Virtual Course on Health Promotion at the Virtual Campus for Public Health, event that was attended by the Director Dr. Jarbas Barbosa and the Assistant Director Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas.
During the launch, Rosemeire Rocha Pinto, Librarian at BIREME and project team member, recalled the principles of Health Promotion established since the Ottawa Charter, in 1986: health promotion is a global political and social process that encompasses actions aimed at modifying social, environmental, and economic conditions in order to produce a positive impact on individual and collective health. “For PAHO, it is a unique approach to health that starts from the different needs of the population, fosters their capacities and strengths, empowers, is participatory, intersectoral, context-sensitive, and operates at multiple levels,” emphasized Rosemeire Rocha.
The countries’ contribution to the portal was also valued during the launch. On the page, users can access the ‘Form for Proposing New Documents‘ and make a submission to PAHO. The documents will then be analyzed by the Health Promotion and Social Determinants Unit, needing to meet the following inclusion criteria: be an official government publication; be open access; published from 2010 onwards; and correspond to one of the ten thematic areas. “The Window is a tool of collective creation in which the contribution of all countries is essential, and with their active participation, they will ensure that it consolidates as a reference space in this area,” highlighted Pilar Campos Esteban.