Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Spreading the word... in Portuguese

Portuguese, the 6th most widely spoken language in the world and mother-tongue to almost 220 million people, is receiving more attention on the World Health Organizazion (WHO) agenda.
ePORTUGUESe, an initiative to extend multilingualism at WHO, provides Portuguese-speaking countries with information tools to improve their health systems and enhance health workforce performance.

Portuguese is the national language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor. It is also an official language in AFRO and AMRO. Brazilian Director of Ageing and Life Course, Alexandre Kalache, said "Nowadays, information can be transmitted in a split second and those who cannot understand the message are left behind. The ePORTUGUESe initiative is a good example of a network to circulate information in local languages making sure the message is fully understood by those who really need it".

ePORTUGUESe will establish and maintain a link between health-related institutions to promote the development of information in Portuguese and facilitate the spread of local knowledge.

The initiative follows World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution 58/28, which supports regional and interregional eHealth initiatives among groups of countries that speak a common language. One of its main objectives is to expand the Virtual Health Library (VHL) developed by PAHO, which provides access to the latest health information in all Portuguese speaking countries.
The ePORTUGUESe initiative prompted a workshop last June in São Paulo, Brazil where participants from the eight Member States met and considered all the aspects and dimensions of health care, human resources' capacity building, health education and research. ePORTUGUESe has also helped WHO Press and the WHO Library to develop a Portuguese language version of the Blue Trunk Library project (BTL). This will assist health workers in places where electronic communication is difficult or non-existent.

I discovered this news this morning when arriving at the office and did as I always, checked the intranet to see what was new. To my big surprise the word "portuguese" was all over the site! I do have to say that portuguese not being an official WHO language I was quite surprised to find out that there was a programme aiming at providing health information and help in portuguese within WHO. I was very well surprised and immediately wondered how I could help the programme have more visibility as this is a great initiative that deserves our support.

I have therefore contacted the person in charge of the programme for authorization to publish it in my Blog as blogs are nowadays the best way to "spread" the news. So, please take your time to tour the website as well as the blog. Who knows, maybe you can help creating opportunities to disseminate information through new communication strategies and techniques.

The ePORTUGUESe website can be viewed here.
World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution 58/28 can be viewed here.

You might wish to also visit the ePORTUGUESEe Blog at http://eportuguese.blogspot.com/

Published with Dr Regina Ungerer kind permission.

No comments:

Post a Comment