|Meeting Highlights Growing Importance of Health Information, New Networks and Technologies|
Photos PAHO/WHO David Spitz
In an age when PAHO's technical cooperation activities and decision-making in public health are increasingly based on evidence and scientific knowledge, the importance of BIREME to the work of the Organization is acquiring more importance every day. The Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences, originally called BIREME (the acronym in Portuguese for Regional Library of Medicine,) is a PAHO Specialized Center—part of the Area of Knowledge Management and Communication—established in Brazil since 1967, in collaboration with that country's Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Secretary of Health of the State of São Paulo and the Federal University of São Paulo.
Marcelo D'Agostino (photo below) expounded on the history and development of this center within PAHO's institutional context. He highlighted the trajectory of the Center, and how it will help PAHO in bridging the gaps in the Region of the Americas related to the organization, registry, classification, dissemination, and free and equitable access to evidence and scientific knowledge in the health sciences.
Since its establishment, BIREME has stimulated the development and interaction of relevant networks in the health sector, including EvipNet, ScienTI, ePORTUGUESe, the Virtual Campus in Public Health, and TropIKA.Net, among others. LILACS, one of the main databases of Latin American and Caribbean scientific literature in the health sciences, has contributed to the dissemination, at the international level, of scientific research output, as well as of technical documents from the ministries and other institutions of the health sector. SCIELO, one of the public domain and free full-text collections in the health sciences, represents an evolution to the new electronic publishing trends.
BIREME is a fundamental part of the Knowledge Management and Communication Area (KMC), and of PAHO in general, for the development of technical cooperation, with high quality standards for the management, production and dissemination of scientific knowledge in our Region and worldwide.