In 2016, BIREME/PAHO/WHO celebrated its 49th anniversary as reference institution in the processes of promoting, strengthening and expanding the flow of scientific and technical information in health in Latin America and the Caribbean, in a close cooperation with over two thousand institutions in the Region. Under the direction of Dr Diego González Machín, since July 2016, the Center has extensively worked with PAHO/WHO headquarters and its technical areas, with PAHO Country Offices and with WHO headquarters and its Regional Offices to fulfill and advance its mission.
VHL Brazil, a product from the cooperation among the Ministry of Health, BIREME/PAHO/WHO and Brazilian teaching and research institutions, is the main resource to democratize open access to information in health, assuring representativeness of Brazilian scientific and technical knowledge. However, the future requires advances with new information products and services, with the challenge of translating them into unformal language to facilitate scientific research and search for evidence, policy-making, and social control.
The presence of BIREME in Latin America and the Caribbean has traditionally been marked by the instances of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), which is present in over 30 countries. Dr Diego González Machín, Director of BIREME, continues to drive forward the technical cooperation actions of BIREME at national and regional levels, by means of joint activities conducted with PAHO/WHO Offices and the countries’ National institutions in the Region, starting in Colombia, Panama and Mexico. The joint work was also carried out in an official mission to Washington D.C., US, at the PAHO/WHO HQ.
The Nursing Virtual Health Library (Nursing VHL, http://bvsenfermeria.bvsalud.org/) has been developed in a decentralized manner, with the participation of institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Uruguay. Its primary objective is to drive the processes of knowledge generation and dissemination, helping to improve nursing education and practice to achieve ethical and social commitment in education, research and healthcare.
The 16th edition of Rede Brasileira de Informação em Saúde meeting was held in October, during the 19th Seminario Nacional de Bibliotecas Universitarias (SNBU), in Manaus, AM. The meeting, organized by BIREME/PAHO/WHO together with the Coordenação Geral de Documentação e Informação da Secretaria Executiva do Ministério da Saúde (CGDI/SE/MS), aimed to present the new developments that will certainly strengthen the collaborative work and expand visibility and use of health information, in addition to presenting to the participants the products and services provided by BIREME regarding health information.
Scholarly communication, as science itself, evolves rapidly and it is necessary to follow and understand such changes. In this regard, the Office of the Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) through its bodies BIREME and Library and Information Networks, both from the Area of Knowledge Management, Bioethics and Research (KBR) train researchers, health professionals, decision makers and students in current topics of scientific communication and writing through face-to-face courses in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
The learning actions for continued development of competences for BIREME staff have been fostered by its Director, Dr Diego González Machín, since July 2016, when he took office ofthe Center. The primary goal is to have a better working environment and organizational climate, required to improve the technical cooperation and management of BIREME, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017.
Since 2007, in the early days of the Brazil Telehealth Program, BIREME/PAHO/WHO has been cooperating with the Ministry of Health to promote and facilitate the use of scientific knowledge in Primary Health Care (PHC) through Telehealth services. The program addresses relevant topics to PHC and it is designed to clear up doubts and meet the needs of other healthcare professionals, aiming to enhance the resolution capacity in similar cases or situations. It is a knowledge translation initiative, also applied to the São Paulo City Networks Telehealth Program.
In 2016, BIREME/PAHO/WHO has completed 49 years. The progress of its operation is also evidenced by the development of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), which is 18 years old, and its associated networks, present in 31 countries and including more than 2,000 institutions. The Center continues in the process to strengthen its institutional and managerial roles, supported by PAHO/WHO, directed to cooperation and network initiatives with its Member States and fostering – by means of its products and services – the democratization of access, publication, and use of scientific information and evidence in health.
PAHO/WHO Brazil has had the support of BIREME to develop technical cooperation activities focused on health priorities in the country. In the scope of BIREME´s work in managing health information and knowledge, PAHO Brazil effectively supports the Center by formalizing its institutionality in the country, which historically has had support for maintenance and development from the Ministry of Health (MoH). Moreover, BIREME enables its participation in Terms of Cooperation entered with the MoH and its Secretariats, as well as with national institutions, such as the State and Municipality Secretariats.