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[Health-announce] GNU Health at Paraguay Ministry of Public Health

From: Luis Falcon
Subject: [Health-announce] GNU Health at Paraguay Ministry of Public Health
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 17:31:08 -0300

Dear all

(original post with pictures at GNU Solidario,

I just got back from Paraguay, where we were invited by Mr. Nicolás
Caballero from the Paraguayan Government to talk about GNU Health at
the Social Security Institute (IPS - Instituto de Previsión Social )
and Ministry of Public Health .

It's great  to see how Paraguay is adopting Free Software in the
Public Health System, working as a team, from the Presidency office,
the Social Security Institute (IPS) and the Ministry of Public Health

I noticed how the government conceives Health informatics as a public
good, an integral component  of Public Health.

We spent two non-stop days in Asunción, capital of Paraguay, visiting
the different health centers and having meetings with health
officials. In those meetings, Nicolas Caballero explained the latest
and concrete resolutions that the Paraguayan government is taking on
Free Software adoption in public health care.

After visiting the different health centers, we had a meeting with the
information system team, with whom we discussed the technical details
about GNU Health, such as the programming environment, security,
scalability and reporting.

Dr. Nurhizam Safie, from the United Nations University, Institute of
Global Health explained the partnership with GNU Solidario, and
implementation cases of GNU Health in Asia, Africa and Latinamerica.

Nurhizam stressed the commitment of the UNU - the academic branch of
the United Nations - with GNU Health and the implementation in the
Paraguayan Public Health system, as a way of delivering universality
in health care. Today UNU provides training and capacity building in
GNU Health implementations.

Ms. Rosa González, Social Security Institute chief of the informatics
department, gave us an extensive tour throughout different health
institutions and their departments. Among them: Pharmacy, Laboratory,
Appointments, Inpatient administration and Imaging.

Rosa explained to her team that GNU Health is licensed under GPL, the
GNU General Public License, so they have all the freedom to use and
custumize GNU Health to fit their needs. I stressed the importance of
working with the community, so the health informatics team can always
ask questions in public forums and share with us their developments
and bug fixes. GNU Health is the result of many contributions and
feedback  from an international community and multi-disciplinary

On Friday afternoon we were invited by Dr. Graciela Gamarra, General
Director of Strategic Health Information Systems, from the Health
Ministry (Ministerio de Salud Pública y Bienestar Social). They showed
us their current epidemiology systems that are being built on Free
We also discussed on integrating all the current systems with GNU
Health, and link it to the current epidemiology engine.

I want to thank the government of Paraguay for inviting us and for the
hospitality, they made us feel at home.

But most importantly, I want to thank the government of Paraguay for
the commitment with Free Software in Public Health. Latin America is
today a leader in the adoption of Free Software in public
administrations, delivering equity and universality in health care for
their habitants.

Last but not least, thanks to Richard Stallman, who referred GNU
Health to Nicolás Caballero , chief technology innovation officer of
the Presidency office.  Thanks Nicolás for making this possible !

Luis Falcon
GNU Health

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