Convenient, practical multilingual guidance and support is becoming available through multiple channels.
Access to timely and authoritative information is critical for consumers to understand how they can reduce the risk of being adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities are particularly vulnerable during a pandemic as they have lower levels of health literacy and awareness of the Australian health care system, often face more precarious work situations, have limited access to welfare, and do not engage extensively with authoritative media and mainstream English language messaging.
Interactive COVID-19 information packages that can be delivered via SMS or email from the GoShare platform are now available from a number of Queensland PHNs, with NSW emergency departments and COVID clinics soon to follow.
Figure 2: COVID-19 information delivered by GoShare
These packages are currently available in ten languages including: English, Arabic, Greek, Italian, Tagalog, Hindi, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
There is also an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander package. General practice staff can filter the packages available to provide targeted information for each patient. Patient groupings could include high risk patients, patients with chronic conditions, patients diagnosed with COVID-19, or patients located in COVID-19 clusters, for example.
The Migration Council of Australia has released the MyAusCovid-19 app in 11 languages, with another 14 to come.