Health Resources for the South African Languages
Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences/Child Language Africa in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town
Project type: Open call project
Start Date: 01-11-2018
End Date: 31-12-2019
The project runs under the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences/Child Language Africa in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town. This project sets out to document health resources available in the official languages of South Africa. Health resources are materials such as screening questionnaires and diagnostic assessments designed to be used in a healthcare setting with patients and families by a health professional (e.g. doctor, nurse, and physiotherapist). The purpose is to establish a database of these resources which healthcare workers can use to access available materials.
The project aims to support efforts to promote and develop local language resources and contribute to more effective healthcare services for all people in the country. In the long run the database will enable health practitioners to search for clinical materials available in local languages – and develop more resources where gaps exist.
The project leaders are Michelle Pascoe (Director and Associate Professor of Child Language Africa / Communication Sciences and Disorders), Olebeng Mahura (Lecturer in Communication Sciences and Disorders) and Jessica Dean (Lecturer in Communication Sciences and Disorders). During the course of the project they supervised 14 speech-language therapy final year/honours students.
To date the research team have conducted two literature reviews answering theoretical questions about available resources and how they were developed. “In future, we plan to develop scientific expertise and knowledge about cross-cultural adaptation of assessments”, says project leader Michelle Pascoe. The database currently contains over 400 resources with all official South African languages represented. “We will continue to add resources to the database and are looking at ways of automating this process and inviting researchers to contribute directly to it”, stated Pascoe. This part of the project focused on resources in the official languages of South Africa, but our larger project includes developing a database of health resources for Africa.
Open access publication in Health SA Gesondheid: Journal of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences; and forthcoming book chapter in the Springer Handbook of Communication Disabilities and Language Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.