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.
The technical cooperation strategies of BIREME and the Virtual Campus of Public Health (VCPH) with Latin American and Caribbean countries, interact among themselves and complement each other to overcome new challenges and provide opportunities in information technology and communication, aim, among other objectives, to expand access to information and evidence in the education processes of healthcare professionals.
PAHO/WHO and Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS) signed a new agreement for the consolidation and positioning of the VHL in Colombia. On the occasion, Dr. Gina Watson, PAHO/WHO Representative in Colombia, stated that the VHL is an open window to knowledge, as well as the importance of applying evidence-based knowledge to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), close the inequity gap and put an end to poverty.
The commitment of PAHO/WHO to support the countries of the Region to move forward and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the 2030 Agenda, using the leassons learned in the Millenium Development Goals (MDG), has driven the SDG to be a cross cutting issue in BIREME’s technical cooperation. Information related to SDG 6, such as bibliographic searches, full-text documents, evidence abstracts, and educational resources are available in the Regional VHL portal.
BIREME launches a new communication channel to its users, institutional partners and the general public. ‘BIREME Bulletin’ is a news page in Portuguese, Spanish and English, reporting on technical cooperation actions, products and services, and testimonials. It is designed to provide visibility, access, quality, use and impact on health information.