Harvard project translates COVID-19 resources into 37 languages

Harvard Medical School's COVID-19 Health Literacy Project has translated essential information about COVID-19, including prevention and potential treatments, into 37 languages to reduce the risk of infection for non-English speakers in the U.S., STAT reports.

Pooja Chandrashekar, a first-year student at the Boston-based medical school, started the project after noticing COVID-19 information wasn't easily accessible to non-English speakers. 

The CDC provides COVID-19 information in Spanish and Chinese, and some states offer resources in various languages, but the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project appears to be the most comprehensive set of resources in the U.S., where more than 350 languages are spoken, according to STAT.

"We need to make sure that we're not forgetting about the minority communities all around us that are often going to be disproportionately harmed by a pandemic like this," Ms. Chandrashekar told STAT.

The initiative summarizes key points, includes visuals and aims to be a "centralized repository of information" available in a growing number of languages. The project has partnered with community-based organizations, such as local health departments and physicians, to deliver pamphlets to patients.

Over 175 medical students from 30 institutions have collectively worked to provide 37 language translations.

"All communities of individuals have a right to know when and how to seek care," Ms. Chandrashekar said.

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