Languages and Cultural Knowledge in Global Healthcare

Impact: Societial Impact, Cultural Impact

Description of impact

This event demonstrated some of the crucial roles played by multilingualism and cultural knowledge in tackling global health challenges, at home and abroad. It concentrated on three specific areas:

•The benefits of multilingualism for tackling cognitive challenges such as autism, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia.

•Efficient communication within health and medical practices in Namibia (working with multilingual teams in multiple local contexts), all of which involve complex interactions among indigenous, colonial and post-colonial linguistic and cultural heritages.

•How understandings of health and well-being in overseas countries are enhanced by drawing on local languages and idioms.

The event also outlined the opportunities available for those with a knowledge of languages and global cultures to contribute – as practitioners, health promoters, project coordinators, researchers, heads of mission, translators and interpreters, among others – to the many challenges of international healthcare.

Guest speakers were:

Dr Thomas Bak (University of Edinburgh: Neuroscientist and Strand Leader of ‘Cognition, Health and Well-being’ AHRC Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) project)

Dr Mariana Vega Mendoza (University of Edinburgh and MEITS OWRI project ‘Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies’)

Prof. Loredana Polezzi (Cardiff University and AHRC ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Global Challenges’ project)

Dr Peter Garrett and Emma Warwick, Médecins sans frontières

Who is affected

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of languages and medicine; languages teachers; medical educators and practitioners; policy makers
Impact statusCompleted
Impact date08 Jan 2019
Category of impactSocietial Impact, Cultural Impact
Impact levelEngagement