cohealth acts as a ‘cultural bridge’ during pandemic

Posted on 17th May 2020
bicultural workers

cohealth’s bicultural workers are playing a vital role as ‘cultural bridges’ creating and promoting important COVID-19 information to people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

In response to COVID-19, many of the bicultural workers are producing videos that deliver translated public health advice to communities that might otherwise miss out on the information. These resources are an important way that community health services can complement government health messaging, and support broader efforts to eliminate community infection.

“Community health services help bridge the gap in times of crisis to make sure that vulnerable people are not left behind,” said Nicole Bartholomeusz, Chief Executive.

The bicultural worker projects are particularly important in light of a recent survey by cohealth’s Community Support Program that found that around 1-in-5 non-English speakers aged 70+ said that they did not understand COVID health information.

“COVID restrictions may have eased, but the pandemic is far from over. It’s critical that people from non-English speaking backgrounds get the information they need, in a way they can access it.” said Bartholomeusz.

One of our bicultural workers, Maryaan Essa, identified that people needed support and information in their language, but also advice that was culturally specific. Maryaan leverages the popularity of social media by promoting her video through Arabic Facebook and community groups.

Other bicultural workers are producing COVID videos in Arabic, Falam Chin and Hakha Chin (two small language groups from Myanmar), Tibetan and Karen. Read more about our bicultural worker program here.

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