4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the Virtual Health Library
May 5-6, 2003 - Puebla, Mexico
The meetings of the VHL Coordination consolidated as the main mechanism to exchange experiences of and gather professionals involved in the development of national and thematic VHLs. This third meeting fully achieved its objective and demonstrated the extraordinary advances in structuring the VHL, both in quantitative and qualitative aspects.
The plenary sessions focused on the presentation and discussion of innovative efforts and new challenges. The work groups discussed specific VHL themes, such as Adolescence and Health, Sciences and Health, Non-communicable Diseases, Legislation, Environmental Health and Disasters, Psychology, Public Health, SciELO Public Health, Scientific Editors, VHL Architecture, Fourth Meeting of Individuals in Charge of PAHO Centers for Documentation and Communication in VHL. Many of these groups assessed the advances in developing VHLs. The group Sciences and Health had the opportunity to officially launch VHL/S&H. In the plenary session, each group presented their report containing recommendations and conclusions.
The Director of BIREME, Mr. Abel L. Packer, in the initial Conference on the perspectives of VHL, presented the current situation of VHL regarding the conceptual, operational and technological aspects. This lecture demonstrated that the three scenarios projected in 1998, in the 1st Regional Coordination Meeting of VHL, held just before CRICS IV, in San Jos, Costa Rica, had advanced as expected. Developing of VHL no longer depends on the "external" encouragement by BIREME and other promoters, since it has achieved its own momentum, that is, its expansion and multiplication follow an intrinsic dynamics of self-sustainable development. All this indicates that VHL will soon achieve a stage of referenced development, and will be a privileged space in which the networks and the processes related to several VHLs will be created and developed.
The presentation on VHL architecture addressed the new tools designed and adjusted by BIREME by means of partnership with several institutions all over the world. These tools represent the state-of-the-art digital technology and are available for use by all VHLs.
The other plenary sessions presented and discussed the aspects related to VHL«s innovative efforts (online therapeutic form and quality control for cervical cytology), new methodological and technological developments (quality control, automatic indexing of texts, LILACS Express, etc.). Moreover, the conceptual aspects (VHL within a virtual structure based on components; VHL as a unit to manage knowledge on health) and the relations of VHL with other initiatives (Red ScienTI, SHARED Global and SHARED Latin America, Virtual Campus on Public Health, NLM Project on Disasters) were discussed.
The work groups held simultaneous meetings and were able to present their reports in a plenary session. In the closing session, Mr. Abel L. Packer, Director of BIREME and Coordinator of the Meeting, announced the composition of a group to prepare the Declaration of Puebla. This document comprises the decisions and recommendations made by the 3rd Meeting and by CRICS VI and defines the action lines of VHL in the next years.
It was announced that the 4th Regional Coordination Meeting of VHL will be held in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, in September 2005. It will take place just before CRICS VII, to be held together with ICML9 Ð 9th World Congress on Health Information and Libraries, which is organized by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Biosciences Section. It will be the first IFLA congress in Latin America.
Mr. David Brandling-Bennett, the Deputy Director of the Pan-American Health Organization, who spoke on behalf of Mrs. Mirta Roses Periago, the Director of PAHO, closed the 3rd Meeting.