About the project
Solinary is a rich, multilingual health communications platform developed by Good Hood to enable simple, safe and equitable access to good health. Solinary Health Alerts is the first application to pilot from the platform and enables the Department of Health (Victoria) to instantly generate and publish multilingual health alerts for notifiable diseases.
Culturally and linguistically diverse community members have poorer health outcomes in Australia
This is not new information, but when the data for COVID-19 mortality rates in Australia was released in February 2022, the results were “shocking and appalling.” The data shows that people born in North Africa and the Middle East were 10-times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those born in Australia. 10. Times. Now, whilst language is only one of the contributing factors to this dire reality, it’s one form of structural racism we’re dedicated to dismantling through our Solinary project.
Developing effective translations is an iterative and nuanced process
Due to the often erroneous results from Google Translate, and shortcomings of computer-assisted translation tools in general, many governments’ and service providers’ language policies stipulate NAATI-certified translations for all translation services. However, our community research and pilot found that NAATI certified translations are still not good enough. Solinary has made sure to address issues with literacy, health literacy, and cultural taboos and stigma to tackle this.
Language is only part of the problem
Providing information in language and a format that community members from non-English speaking backgrounds can easily access is just one component of addressing health inequality in Australia. Our research also demonstrates we need to address barriers like access to reliable transport, childcare, a lack of transparency around expenses, and previous negative experiences to see real change and have impact.
There’s lots more to come for Solinary. We look forward to finalising our pilot, the evaluation and sharing the journal article we co-authored with LaTrobe University researchers in late 2022!
Simple, safe and equitable access to good health.
Department of Health
Civvic Labs (an initiative of Launch Vic)