BIREME promotes the launch of the 2024 Calendar of VHL Activities with Health Information Networks

2024 calendar launch poster, with agenda and registration information

São Paulo, March 11, 2024 (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) – The webinar to launch the 2024 calendar of Activities of the Virtual Health Library (VHL) was held online with the Health Information Networks. The event was organized by the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information of the Pan American Health Organization (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), with presentations by João Paulo Souza, director of BIREME, and Verônica Abdala, Manager of Information Services and Products at BIREME. It was attended by 174 people from different countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, such as Europe.

The Health Information Networks are an initiative created and coordinated by BIREME, which brings together institutions and organizations mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of contributing to the democratization of access and visibility of scientific knowledge in health in the countries of the Region. For the year 2024, 19 meetings are scheduled, with an agenda divided into four main themes: VHL Network; Network of Referees; Indexing of documents according to the LILACS Methodology; and Best practices in the editorial processes of LILACS scientific journals.

Verônica Abdala points out that the programming of periodic meetings establishes a regular mechanism for the exchange of knowledge and experiences, a factor that is essential for the strengthening and expansion of the work carried out by BIREME, as PAHO's specialized center for health sciences information, in favor of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), the LILACS database, the DeCS thesaurus and all the sources of information that organize, preserve and promote the use of the technical and scientific literature produced in the LA&C countries.

The event was opened with the presentation "Strengthening Regional Information Products", given by Director João Paulo Souza. The presentation considered the current complexities affecting the health sector and people's quality of life, contextualizing PAHO's mission to achieve "Health for All", and positioning "information as a code capable of changing behaviors and society as a whole, and capable of producing positive effects on health indicators".

"That is why the accelerated digital transformation we are experiencing today is also a determinant of health", explained João Paulo Souza, noting that in addition to the benefits of applying new digital technologies, it is also necessary to address the new risks. "These are biases and problems related to misinformation, which could affect the decision-making process and lead to uncertainties in the procedures of evidence selection, synthesis and interpretation." In conclusion, João Paulo Souza highlighted the attributes of Open Science, especially transparency, to ensure quality and trust in technical and scientific evidence. Furthermore, João Paulo placed the centrality of LILACS, DeCS and VHL to ensure that Latin American and Caribbean scientific production is available to the region and the world.

Next, in a presentation by Verônica Abdala, participants were informed about the "Report of the Meeting for the Renewal of the VHL Model", held in São Paulo (Brazil) in November 2023 with representatives and focal points of the VHL Network. The report presented the studies carried out to align the VHL Model with BIREME's 2023-2025 Strategy, including updates to the VHL governance structure and contributions to its digital transformation. "In fact, in this meeting, we assumed and reaffirmed a collective and individual commitment to strengthen the VHL as a regional public good in Latin America and the Caribbean," she summarized.

The 2024 calendar with the complete schedule of activities and meetings with the Networks, as well as the recordings and presentations of the virtual sessions, are now available on the VHL Network Portal (in Spanish or Portuguese).