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Multilingualism and strategic planning for HIV/AIDS-related health care and communication [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]

Batchelor, K; Yoda, LA; Sanon Ouattara, FEG; Hellewell, O; (2019) Multilingualism and strategic planning for HIV/AIDS-related health care and communication [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. Wellcome Open Research , 4 , Article 200. 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15584.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Many lower and middle income countries (LMICs) have high levels of linguistic diversity, meaning that health information and care is not available in the languages spoken by the majority of the population. This research investigates the extent to which language needs are taken into account in planning for HIV/AIDS-related health communication in development contexts. / Methods: We analysed all HIV/AIDS-related policy documents and reports available via the websites of the Department for International Development UK, The Global Fund, and the Ministries of Health and National AIDS commissions of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal. We used quantitative and qualitative analysis to assess the level of prominence given to language issues, ascertain the level at which mentions occur (donor/funder/national government or commission), and identify the concrete plans for interlingual communication cited in the documents. / Results: Of the 314 documents analysed, 35 mention language or translation, but the majority of the mentions are made in passing or in the context of providing background socio-cultural information, the implications of which are not explored. At donor level (DFID), no mentions of language issues were found. Only eight of the documents (2.5%) outline concrete actions for addressing multilingualism in HIV/AIDS-related health communication. These are limited to staff training for sign language, and the production of multilingual resources for large-scale sensitization campaigns. / Conclusions: The visibility of language needs in formal planning and reporting in the context of HIV/AIDS-related health care is extremely low. Whilst this low visibility should not be equated to a complete absence of translation or interpreting activity on the ground, it is likely to result in insufficient resources being dedicated to addressing language barriers. Further research is needed to fully understand the ramifications of the low prominence given to questions of language, not least in relation to its impact on gender equality.

Type: Article
Title: Multilingualism and strategic planning for HIV/AIDS-related health care and communication [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15584.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15584.1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2019 Batchelor K et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: translation, interpreting, languages, health communication, development, HIV/AIDS, language barriers, West Africa
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088610
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