Laxmi Mansingh’s contribution to the MedCarib network and the integration of information resources from the English Caribbean – PAHO/WHO

Laxmi Mansingh passed away on February 19, 2022, and we deeply regret it. Laxmi joined the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, in 1974, as a librarian at the Medical Library, where she developed her career. She was promoted to Librarian in 1978 and to Senior Librarian in 2001, a degree equivalent to that of a teacher. She was the first librarian to rise to such a professional level at the university.

For ten years, he has compiled and published the Caribbean health medical literature, with more than 10,000 documents. The database was the portal that BIREME used to initiate technical cooperation procedures with English Caribbean countries beginning in 1989, the year MedCarib was created. This database of bibliographic references for information in health sciences in English Caribbean countries was created using the LILACS methodology and coordinated by Laxmi Mansigh, Chief Librarian of Medicine, UWI Mona, Jamaica, at the time, with the participation of 17 countries, forming the MedCarib Network.

Laxmi was replaced in the MedCarib network coordination by Ernesta Greenidge, Head of the Medical Sciences Library at West Indies University School of Medicine in Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, who in 2012 promoted a strategic meeting with English Caribbean nations, prioritizing strengthening collaborative work on bibliographic control in The Caribbean and the MedCarib Revitalization Network. As a result of this action, the MedCarib database has been periodically updated by the network, is available to access the various VHL portals, in addition to being the main source of information for CARPHA EvIDeNCe Portal.

As a result of the efforts made, at the ACURIL 2020 virtual conference, topics related to the development, promotion and participation of Caribbean countries were highlighted by BIREME during the event, along with the network, and are discussed and detailed in the action plan. Work towards the development of a regional VHL for the Caribbean, with a view to seeking a more attractive approach to integrate network efforts in the English Caribbean, in a sustainable manner, avoiding dispersal and eliminating duplication of work. United but guarantee the space and identity of the countries.

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We have sadly received the news of the passing of Ms. Laxmi Mansingh, with whom we have had the opportunity to work professionally for more than a decade towards the development of health sciences information systems in the Caribbean and Latin America. As Director of the University of the West Indies Medical Library and Professor at the University, Ms. Mansingh has guided, effective, and scientific and technical capacity to establish and develop a network of documentation centers and libraries at Caribbean Health. MedCarib and critically contributed to the success of the Health Sciences Information System in Latin America and the Caribbean and later to the Virtual Health Library under the leadership of BIREME/PAHO/WHO. Ms. Mansingh left behind an impressive legacy for library and information science. My personal relationship with Laxmi has always been one of gentle friendshipAbel L. Packer, former director of the center and coordinator of SciELO.

None of this would have been possible without the pioneering role and pioneering spirit of Laxmi Mansingh, for whom we applaud and thank.

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