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Meeting Highlights Growing Importance of Health Information, New Networks and Technologies
Washington, D.C. (PAHO)—A meeting at PAHO's headquarters in Washington D.C. put in evidence the growing importance of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences, better known as BIREME. The high-level meeting discussed a new institutional framework for the governance, management, and financing of BIREME, and highlighted the work of the Center in the Region.

Scene from the meeting
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.

Scene from the meeting
Dr. Jon Andrus, Dr. Mirta Roses and Dr. Socorro Gross.
Present at the meeting were—among others—PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses, Deputy Director Dr. Jon Andrus, and Assistant Director Dr. Socorro Gross, along with Dr. Marcia Bassit, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Brazil, Marcelo D'Agostino, Manager of PAHO's Knowledge Management and Communication Area, Dr. Albino Belotto, Director a.i. for BIREME, and BIREME's Administrator Silvia Valentin.

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 Scene from the meetingRegion 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.

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