New effort aims to provide Covid-19 resources to non-English speakers in U.S.

Poojas-Pics-14-768x432Pooja Chandrashekar, a first-year medical student at Harvard Medical School who founded the Covid-19 Health Literacy Project.

By Shafaq Zia

Covid-19 is impacting lives across the U.S., and health officials are racing to provide communities with important information about the illness. But language divides are likely to put non-English speakers at greater risk. While some health information is being translated into commonly spoken languages including Spanish and Chinese, the U.S. is home to non-English speakers who speak any of more than 350 other languages.

A new initiative from medical students and physicians at Harvard Medical School aims to help members of these communities by translating fact-based Covid-19 information. The initiative, known as the Covid-19 Health Literacy Project, has already translated essential Covid-19 information about prevention and possible treatment options, among other issues, in over 35 languages, including Navajo, Oromo (spoken by an ethnic group in Ethiopia), and Swahili. STATNEWS