The Virtual Campus highlights the importance of virtual education for public health, in the 1st  International Meeting of Scientific Communication, Health and Social Impact

Washington DC, April 23, 2024 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) supported the organization of the First International Meeting on Scientific Communication, Health and Social Impact, held from April 8 to 12 at the Faculty of Sciences of Information from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), in Spain. Scholars and researchers from Africa, Latin America and Europe participated actively during the event.

The Virtual Campus for Public Health (VCPH) awarded three scholarships to professionals in scientific communication and virtual education, from the Region of the Americas, to participate in the event, in person. Those selected were: Sergio Romero (Argentina), Bruno Cássio de Andrade e Silva (Brazil), and Andreé Alvarez (Guatemala).

The event commenced with a round table discussion titled "Health communication in virtual education environments", that included among its speakers Gabriel Listovsky, Chief of the Virtual Campus Special Program, as well as Bruno Cássio, scientific journalist and researcher at the Innovation Laboratory in Health Technology (LAIS/UFRN) and Angeles Sánchez-Elvira Paniagua, director of the UNESCO Chair of Distance Education (UNED). Professor Mar Marcos Molano, from the Faculty of Information Sciences and CREAV, both from the UCM, moderated the session.

In his speech, Gabriel Listovsky pointed out that the Virtual Campus has 20 years of history and that its fundamental mission is to facilitate the transformation of healthcare services by developing the competencies of current and future workers in the healthcare system. He also highlighted that all the educational resources available on the platform are open and interoperable and that, although it is not a university or academy, the VCPH works efficiently with various institutions in the region of the Americas.

Currently, three million users are registered in the Virtual Campus and the contents that are shared are adapted to the needs of the global society. This was demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic when, as an emergency, the first material on the subject was published on February 11, 2020, so that all health professionals could be quickly updated on this disease.

Gabriel Listovsky was also responsible for the closing session of the meeting, which focused on the theme "Communication and health in virtual teaching environments".

"The most enriching thing about this meeting is the opportunity to learn about the diversity of communication proposals and dissemination to different audiences and how to produce quality material that is suitable for each health worker and that also includes the challenge of how we are training the new generations, given that we are in a university," he concluded.

During the meeting, the first International Research Network on Audiovisual Scientific Dissemination was created. "This is a fundamental step, because we need to join forces and carry out joint initiatives to advance in the field of scientific research," said Almudena Muñoz Gallego, general coordinator of the meeting and professor at the UCM.