Research4Life and VHL motivate workshop in Guyana

27 Nov 2023
PAHO-WHO training in Guyana, in coordination with EIH and BIREME, enhaces uses of R4L and VHL
27 Nov 2023

Guyana continues to prioritize the development of local capacities in the areas of health and information, in order to strengthen its healthcare system and improve the quality of life of the population. In October, PAHO Guyana with EIH and BIREME facilitated training on accessing and using the VHL and Research4Life platforms to support the publication and visibility of local scientific production.

São Paulo, November 27, 2023 (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), through the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH) and the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME), in coordination with PAHO Guyana, has concluded a training program for healthcare providers, researchers, and librarians. The event was held in October in Georgetown and was attended by more than thirty local professionals, promoting strategic partnerships with PAHO/WHO, the Ministry of Health, the University of Guyana, and other stakeholders.

The training emphasized the efficient use of Research4Life (R4L) tools and the Virtual Health Library (VHL), as well as the MedCarib database. It also explored the process of writing and submitting to scientific journals. The instructional team included Leonard Rhine (R4L), Eliane dos Santos-Pereira (EIH), Marcia Barretto (BIREME), Victoria Cruickshank-Taylor (Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA), and Ayaana Alleyne-Cumberbatch (University of the West Indies), who shared knowledge and practices, highlighting the importance of these tools to boost local scientific production.

Throughout the five days of activities, participants engaged in interactive dynamics, practical exercises, and presentations, promoting the use of Research4Life and VHL in the Guyanese context. The participation of the PAHO Guyana Representative, Dr. Luis Codina, with the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, and the Head of the University of Guyana Library, Gwyneth George, underlined the commitment to the continuity of initiatives, and also the nomination of Guyana, by PAHO Member States, as a member of the BIREME Advisory Committee for the period 2024-2026.

Key recommendations and future commitments include encouraging the continuous use of Research4Life and VHL, strategic partnerships to promote research and access to information in the Caribbean, fostering the exchange of experiences among local institutions, and developing initiatives to increase scientific production. "The expectation is to maintain local engagement through meetings and training in Digital Literacy, Open Science, Open Access, and Digital Transformation," concluded Marcia Barretto and Eliane Pereira.

Participants were invited to provide feedback on the course and its content, demonstrating PAHO/WHO's ongoing commitment to improving health information in Guyana. In a speech by the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, the importance of journals and virtual libraries in promoting research was emphasized, while Dr. Luis Codina reaffirmed PAHO/WHO's support to enhance research in the digital health era in Guyana.

Guyana: joint actions with BIREME

Guyana is an institutional supporting country of BIREME, considering its membership on the Center's Advisory Committee between 2019-2021, and again in 2024-2026. As a member of the MedCarib Network, the country maintains a history of technical cooperation with BIREME, with recent actions including: