The area of
Sustainable Development and Environmental Health (SDE)
is a multid-isciplinary team of PAHO that leads and
catalyzes an innovative, intersectoral and strategic
effort to reduce the health risks and promote the healthy
environments where the people live, study, work, and
are amused, as a substantial and essential element of
the Human Safety and of the Sustainable Development.
SDE is functionally divided into three technical units:
The Unit of Healthy Settings, that of Environmental
Risks and CEPIS that functions as the Unit of Basic
Sanita-tion. It also includes the Institute of Nutrition
of Central America and Panama (INCAP) and has advisers
in the PAHO/WHO Representative Offices of the coun-tries.
Beyond this, there is a close relationship between SDE
and a network of col-laborating centers.
This functional structure of SDE is reflected in all
the efforts and instruments that it develops and that
is projected in the Virtual Library of SDE for the information
BVSDE is a Web that brings together a group of sources
of information on sustain-able development and environmental
health. It constitutes an effective response to the
needs of information from the countries of Latin America
and the Caribbean.
The BVSDE is the expansion of the Environmental Virtual
Health Library (BVSA) that in turn, follows the model
of technical cooperation in information on health, promoted
by the “Latin American and Caribbean Center on
Health Sciences Infor-mation”, BIREME.
It has adapted the methodological instruments from the
BVSA, updated the manu-als on the databases, software,
guides and a thesaurus that compiles the terminol-ogy
of the area of sustainable development and environmental
health in five lan-guages. All this methodology is available
for the institutions that wish to construct their own
Virtual Libraries in this topic.
• Full texts: It gives access
to almost 20,000 documents, such as presentations, articles,
books, reports, etc.
• Bibliographic references: It
contains nearly 170,000 references with summa-ries,
from the cooperating centers of REPIDISCA and of the
library that is physi-cally located in the Unit of Basic
Sanitation/CEPIS of SDE.
• Journals: There are more than
registered 530 titles, both printed and electronic.
• Others webs: It includes links
to approximately 3,000 sites.
• Courses and events: Database
with more than 1,000 announcements, both at-tending
and long distance and/or virtual. It includes conferences,
summits, fairs, forums, days, round tables, panels,
seminars, symposia, and workshops.
• Institutions: It contains basic
information on about 2,500 related institutions, mainly
of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as direct
links to their elec-tronic addresses and to their sites
• Indicators: They can be consulted
by countries or years. They appear in the publication
of PAHO Health in the Americas.
• News: Obtained from newspapers,
bulletins, announcements, etc.
• Selective Dissemination of the Information:
It makes it possible for the sub-scribers to keep themselves
informed monthly, on the latest news, courses, bib-liographic
references, full texts, journals, and websites in their
area of interest. The information is received via E-mail
and they are the same registries that are incorporated
to the different sources of the BVSDE.
• Educational materials: We have
almost 1,500 multimedia support materials for the traditional
education and for the distance learning, virtual short
courses, presentations, etc.
• Courses in Self-teaching: To
date there are 11 self-instruction courses, acces-sible
to every interested person, the approval of the final
examination merits a diploma.
• Academic Programs: Almost 1,000
courses of undergraduate, master’s pro-grams,
doctorates, fellowships, diplomas, both attends them
and virtual have been registered.
• Lists of discussion
Virtual opportunities to exchange ideas, under the coordination
of a specialist. Lists of discussion opened or closed
according to the needs for each subject.
ON THE BVSDE
It presents the information concerning the Virtual Library,
the Advisory Committee, and the Access Statistics.
REPIDISCA, from its creation in 1981, has applied frontier
technologies, thus, the Virtual Library in “Sustainable
Development and Environmental Health” - BVSDE
currently is the principal product that accompanies
the boom of the Internet.
The Pan American Network of Information
in Environmental Health, known by the acronym REPIDISCA,
is made up of more than 370 Cooperating Centers in 24
countries of the Region, that work jointly to reach
its main objective: the timely access to the information
that the countries of Latin America and the Ca-ribbean
require and produce.