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Coronavirus testing can now be done in 10 languages in Australia

Home > About Us > News > Coronavirus testing can now be done in 10 languages in Australia
Coronavirus testing can now be done in 10 languages in Australia
​Western Health's free CALD Assist app, which supports communication between health care workers and non-English speakers, is now available for COVID-19 screening.

The CALD Assist app, developed with Australia's national science agency CSIRO, was launched in 2017 and was designed primarily for use by allied health workers and later nurses. The Victorian Government contributed $454,000 in two separate grants during the early development phase.
It featured more than 200 commonly used phrases translated into 10 languages – Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Mandarin, Serbian, Spanish and Vietnamese – supported by images, video and pre-recorded audio.

Then, as the pandemic hit this year, Western Health saw how CALD Assist could also be a valuable tool for COVID-19 screening.
Western Health and CSIRO staff spent hundreds of hours over several months developing and refining the COVID-19 module. Western Health's interpreting team, including Macedonian interpreter Lile Blazevska, put their voices to the app and also assisted with translation.
Western Health Executive Director Operations Natasha Toohey said while the CALD Assist app was designed to complement – not replace – the work of interpreters, it had an important role to play.
“Clear communication is vital to providing quality health care – at all times, not only during a pandemic,” Ms Toohey said. “Western Health is very proud of the CALD Assist app and its success in helping facilitate communication with people from non-English speaking communities, and we’re thrilled it is now equipped to guide them through the COVID-19 screening process.”

Victorian Minister for Health Martin Foley MP congratulated Western Health and CSIRO for innovating through the pandemic and finding new ways to support culturally and linguistically diverse patients.
“Western Health and all of our health services have done amazing work responding to this global pandemic and evolving how they care for and engage with patients,” he said
The free CALD Assist app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Read the SBS exclusive here 
Sally NE.PNG
Western Health's Sally Brinkmann and Courtney Pocock developed the app in partnership with the CSIRO 

Western Health's Macedonian interpreter Lile Blazevska says it was crucial to get the interpreting correct