Bilingual health program receives funding boost in preparation for winter flu season.  

The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health is pleased to announce that the National Health in My Language program has been extended to 30 June 2023.

In just six months since its launch, over 700 health education sessions have been delivered by 44 bilingual health educators, reaching approximately 10,000 Australians from migrant and refugee backgrounds across all states and territories.

The Health in My Language Program will continue to address barriers to vaccine literacy, uptake, hesitancy, and service navigation, especially among vulnerable groups, including older adults, parents, people of child-bearing age, and those in rural areas.

Moving into the winter season, it is increasingly important for all Australian adults to protect themselves against both COVID-19 and influenza by being fully vaccinated.

According to research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, individuals who were born overseas had an age-standardised COVID-19 death rate that was twice as high as that of people born in Australia, with 15.7 deaths per 100,000 people compared to 9.9 deaths.

At the outset of the pandemic, COVID-19 information was not always culturally tailored nor readily available in languages other than English.

Consequently, vaccination rates in some communities have been significantly affected due to the lack of accessible information on the vaccine rollout.

“To ensure that no one gets left behind in our response and recovery efforts, it is crucial to maintain culturally appropriate health education and support programs like Health in My Language, especially for migrant communities who face unique challenges and barriers,” explains Dr Regina Torres-Quiazon, National Program Manager of Health in My Language.

“With the establishment of a national infrastructure, we are paving the way for lasting benefits that extend beyond the program’s duration and reduce the burden on hospitals by focusing on prevention,” she adds.

“One health education session participant said she really appreciated how the information was delivered in Arabic. She said she felt heard, valued, and special that a person was employed to talk especially to them,” said a bilingual health educator from Western Australia.

The Health in My Language program will continue to run until June 2023, delivering sessions in over 12 languages including Greek, Italian, Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Burmese, and Karen.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health

Tracy Pham

Media Officer