The Ministry of Public Health (MSP), the Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (INTEC) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), signed a technical cooperation agreement, in which they committed to articulate conceptual, institutional and technological resources for the management of health information and knowledge in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
The agreement also establishes the procurement of materials for the creation, implementation, evaluation and sustainable operation of the Virtual Health Library (VHL-DOM), PAHO’s operational platform for technical cooperation.
This project joins the Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi Library of INTEC and the Latin American and Caribbean Center for Health Sciences Information, known as the Regional Library of Medicine, a specialized PAHO center for technical cooperation and scientific health information.
The agreement, signed by Dr. Daniel Rivera, from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Julio Sánchez Maríñez, rector of INTEC and Dr. Alba María Ropero Álvarez, representative of PAHO/WHO, establishes among its objectives “to incorporate the use of technologies and methodologies for the processing, dissemination and diffusion of the national scientific and technical production in health”, as well as “to offer equitable access to this information to strengthen research and training of the country’s human resources in health”, using the virtual library as a database.
Likewise, they will seek to build a virtual space in which the producers, intermediaries and users of scientific-technical health information will converge in a dynamic network of information sources, “created and operated in a cooperative and decentralized manner, with explicit quality controls, coherent with national demands, respectful of ethics and the principles, policies and values of its members and users”, as established in the written agreement.
The VHL-DOM will link the installed capacity in terms of information and knowledge to the solution of the development problems of the health sector, through national bodies such as the Executive Secretariat, Advisory Committee, Technical Committee and Contributing Members, made up of institutions at the national level; as well as international bodies such as the Latin American and Caribbean Center for Health Sciences Information, also known by its original name Regional Library of Medicine (BIREME).
In this context, the Minister of Health said that this initiative is a “valuable resource”, as it will allow all those interested to access quality content in the field of health, as well as certified information, which will remain registered, organized and stored by the collaborating institutions.
“Undoubtedly, by consolidating and expanding this platform, we are creating an invaluable resource that will allow our healthcare professionals to keep up to date with research and the latest advances in scientific knowledge. This alliance that we are forming today ensures accessible, accurate and timely information in a virtual space designed for these purposes,” added Dr. Rivera.
In the same vein, the rector of NTEC indicated that this contribution will revert to society. “Having information and documentation in the area of public health is vital for any country. From our School of Medicine, our Dean’s Office and our Library, we can contribute as much as possible in research, documentation, information and, of course, training services,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Alba Maria Ropero Alvarez explained that, “The VHL has 36,931,724 references of documents at regional level and fulfills the objective of providing access to information and scientific evidence in health to users of all health sectors, contributing to reduce the gap between knowledge and practice in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean”.
The agreement signing ceremony was attended by several health personalities from the collaborating institutions, as well as INTEC executives, including the Dean of the Health Sciences Area, Miguel Robiou.