At the end authorities speak out in favor of equitable access to information on health
The 9th World Congress on Health Information and Libraries and the 7th Latin American and Caribbean Congress on Health Information (ICML9/CRICS7) ended on Friday, September 23, in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) after 10 days of conferences, meetings and courses centered around the equitable access to information on health as a key condition to enhance health. It was the largest world forum on scientific information on health in the last years.
Prominent Brazilian and foreign specialists spoke at the congress, which was attended by over 1,200 participants of 73 countries of all continents. In the closing session, the Declarations of Salvador were approved by consensus. These declarations call for a commitment to equitable access, especially to the international movement for Open Access to scientific information and reaffirm the importance of cooperative networks such as the Virtual Health Library (VHL).
The Declarations of Salvador summarize the results of the rich program and of the events held in parallel. Abel Packer, Director of BIREME, in his closing speech, summarized the issues addressed and the new opportunities created. “Our expectations were not only met, but greatly exceeded, due to the quality of your input, and to the enthusiasm of the participants”, he said.
“I believe we have plenty of reasons to be happy with what we have achieved and for having individually and collectively reasserted our commitment to equity and recharged our batteries to turn this commitment into reality on behalf of the health and well being of our people”, said Packer in his final remarks.
The support and participation of Brazilian and foreign authorities was key to the success of the event and its future impact, and to the success of the pre-event and parallel meetings, especially the International Seminar on Open Access for Developing Countries and the 4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL.
The Secretary of Health of the City of Salvador, Luís Eugênio de Souza, on behalf of the Mayor of Salvador and of the National Council of Municipal Secretaries of Health (CONASEMS), delivered a speech at the opening and closing sessions of the ICML9/CRICS7. He spoke of the vision on the role of information and scientific knowledge in the continuous improvement of the services provided by the health care network. In his final remarks, he highlighted the importance of the Declarations of Salvador.
Helio Kuramoto from the Brazilian Institute of Scientific and Technological Information (IBICT), in his speech at the closing session, expressed the support of the Institute and of its Director, Emir Suaiden, to the open access movement and highlighted the importance of the Declaration of Salvador, which expresses a stand that is in line with the Institute’s.
The closing panel of the congress included:
- Abel Packer, Director of BIREME and President of the Congress
- Luis Eugênio de Souza, Secretary of Health of the City of Salvador
- Marcia Rollemberg, Director of the General Coordination of Documentation and Information (CGDI)/Ministry of Health and Executive Secretary of the National Committee of the Congress, representing the Ministry of Health
- Bruce Madge, Chairman of the Health and Biosciences Libraries Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
- Maria das Graças Miranda Ribeiro, Director of the Central Library of the Federal University of Bahia, Coordinator of the Local Committee of the Congress, representing the President of the Federal University of Bahia, Naomar Monteiro de Almeida Filho
- Hélio Kuramoto, Coordinator of Special Projects, representing the Director of the Brazilian Institute of Scientific and Technological Information (IBICT), Emir Suaiden
- Heather Todd and Lisa Kruesi, from the University of Queensland Cybrary, Santa Lucia Campus, Australia, heads of the Organizing Committee of ICML10