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The BIREME International Community of Practice, a virtual forum dedicated to strengthening the management of scientific and technical information in health sciences, was launched in August of 2012 during a virtual seminar jointly organized by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Ministry of Health of Brazil.

The seminar was attended by representatives from over 20 countries in the Americas, from universities, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, as well as by experts from other regions of the world.

The Information Society has generated a rapid but uncontrolled growth in the use of information and communication technologies in the health sciences. This has facilitated the creation and dissemination of content of varying degrees of quality and with varying degrees of substantiation, in various media and formats, and without the adoption of a classification standard that would enable interoperability and accessibility.  Combined with the need for the development of lifelong skills and learning, and the need for free and fair access, all of this imposes the constant challenge of remaining up-to-date and of adopting innovative strategies and mechanisms on institutions that are either consumers, intermediaries, or producers of this information, and on the health workers themselves who benefit from it.

This International Community of Practice, led by the Area of Knowledge Management and Communications PAHO/WHO (KMC), BIREME, and the Ministry of Health of Brazil, host country of the Center, seeks, among other things, to support the production, dissemination, and use of scientific and technical information for the strengthening of primary health care systems in the Americas, bringing together the individual and collective knowledge in the countries and in specialized information networks.

PAHO/WHO is committed to the international scientific community and to the strengthening of BIREME, and will be articulating this Community of Practice with other existing initiatives to ensure the convergence of actions and investments in the management of the information and knowledge in health sciences.

This year, BIREME celebrates 46 years of existence and PAHO celebrates 110 years and is the oldest public health organization of the world. It works with all of the countries of the American hemisphere to improve the health and the quality of the life of the people of the Americas and it acts as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO.  

For more information visit the website of BIREME at:




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eHealth Program
Department of Knowledge Management, Bioethics and Research
Pan American Health Organization
525 23rd ST NW, 20037, Washington DC, US

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
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Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663
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