The Virtual Health Library of Nicaragua (Nicaragua VHL) was launched in an online/in presence event on October 26, promoted by the Vice Dean of Education and the Directorate of the Library System of UNAN-Managua, in partnership with the PAHO/WHO Representation in Nicaragua and had the participation of BIREME/PAHO/WHO. The initiative will contribute to increasing the availability and visibility of scientific and technical production in health in the country.
The launch of the Nicaragua VHL is an offshoot of Juliana Sousa’s mission, as supervisor of the monitoring area of instances and projects of the VHL, from the Information Sources Production management, to the country in 2018, to participate in the III International Congress of Natural Medicine, Ancestral Traditional and Complementary Therapies. On the occasion, representing BIREME, Juliana participated in a technical meeting with the Director of the Central Library of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAM) Managua, and representatives of the country’s Ministry of Health and with the team representing PAHO Nicaragua. Later, in 2019, with the visit of the then Director of BIREME, Diego González, to Nicaragua in order to participate in strategic meetings with national counterparts related to the scientific and technical information component, she met with the technical team of the office of PAHO/WHO in the country, advancing with the revitalization project of the National VHL.
It was in this process that UNAM Managua accepted to be the new coordination of the National VHL of Nicaragua in a governance mechanism with the Ministry of Health of Nicaragua, with the responsibility to group together a set of institutions that produce, mediate, and use health information to ensure the development of the VHL at the national level, also accompanying the development of the country’s national thematic initiatives.
After the opening held by the Vice Dean of Education of UNAN-Managua, Hugo Gutiérrez Ocón, the Director of BIREME, Diego Gonzalez, thanked “the trust and work of PAHO Nicaragua, which trusted in BIREME to develop, together with the national authorities and with the National Advisory Committee of the VHL, this important information management model that has matured over time”. Diego highlighted that the VHL model currently has more than 80 instances, in addition to having a Regional VHL focused on the Americas region. And he concluded by stating that “today you have a challenge, to launch the VHL and keep it up to date, enrich the VHL with Windows of Knowledge, based on health priorities in the country and with databases, which can serve as support for decision-making in health”.
Ana Treasure, PAHO/WHO Representative in Nicaragua, stated “that the value of scientific knowledge has been shown to be of great relevance because it saves lives, and the VHL is an operational platform for technical cooperation for the management of information and knowledge in health, which promotes the expansion of access to scientific and technical information in Latin America and the Caribbean region”.
This was followed by Maritza Vallecillo Flores, Director of the Library System and professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Legal Sciences at UNAN Managua, who thanked the entire team that made the launch possible, especially the BIREME team, and said: “what to say about Virtual Health Library, it is a topic of learning that leads us to academic and professional development and, above all, to search for information and retrieve it”. And she added, “this work doesn’t end here, we must keep working, now to update and expand the Nicaragua VHL. Teamwork is the best thing we can do for the development of our country”.
The Nicaragua VHL is available online and has already developed two databases, the Data Base on Health in Nicaragua (BDS-NIC) and that of the Ministry of Health. Furthermore, it is expected to develop Windows of Knowledge on various topics that are priorities for the country, in addition to other types of content that seek to facilitate access to regional and national information sources, information resources and others.
OPS Nicaragua. 2021. Nicaragua realiza lanzamiento de la Biblioteca Virtual en Salud https://www.paho.org/es/noticias/28-10-2021-nicaragua-realiza-lanzamiento-biblioteca-virtual-salud