Public health observatories: information and communication networks for knowledge production and dissemination of reliable information in the COVID-19 pandemic
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Federal University of Bahia/Brazil Rua Basílio da Gama, 72/901, Canela zip code 40110-040 Brazil
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1637
Faced with the observation of the growing use of observatories, as an institutional device for Public Health, as information and communication technologies inserted in cyberspace, an attempt was made to investigate their performance in the production of knowledge and dissemination of health information in the COVID-19 pandemic, in Brazil and in other countries. From research that mapped 70 health observatories, focusing on the analysis of health policies of observatories whose countries have universal health systems, a comparative study of multiple cases was carried out. The information content and technical-communicational aspects of 10 health observatory websites were analyzed. The observatories had the function of providing reliable information for monitoring health policies, strategic planning and evidence-based decision-making. The results pointed to the tendency to create new specific sections with information about the pandemic, curatorial work with news publications, epidemiological bulletins, links, articles, studies, research, insertion of new tools, the use of social networks and diversity of languages, revealing the relevance of monitoring health status; gather knowledge production and provide evidence-based quality information, enabling access to reliable information about the pandemic. A dynamic conceptual model is proposed that integrates a virtual repository of information, communication and intelligence in health. This model adds characteristics present in institutional and news sites, suggesting attention to aspects of interculturality and the role of curatorship of information on health observatory sites. It concludes with reflections on the importance of universal health systems; the intercultural and communicative potential of these health observatories as information and communication networks for the production of knowledge and dissemination of information in the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, one can defend the thesis of considering health observatories as sociotechnical networks based on the Actor-Network Theory (ANT).
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