Online Health Resources in Amharic

I recently took the class Health and Wellness @ the Library: The Essentials of Providing Consumer Health Services, a free online course available through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), and the final project provided the option to create a “pathfinder” of online health information for a specific audience.  I decided to create a pathfinder to help local library staff, healthcare professionals, and community leaders locate reliable health resources for community members who primarily speak Amharic in Silver Spring, Maryland.  There is a large Ethiopian American community living in the Silver Spring area, many of whom speak Amharic, so I thought this pathfinder would be particularly relevant to my local community.

Amharic-Language Consumer Health Materials (Located through English-Language Websites)

EthnoMed Amharic Resources (https://ethnomed.org/patient-education/amharic): A website from Harborview Medical Center linking to health and cultural information related to immigrant and refugee groups. Browse through a list of Amharic patient education materials, organized alphabetically by title. Linked materials include both documents and videos.  Topics cover a range of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, HIV, and hepatitis, as well as general wellness, women’s health, healthcare communication, and medication safety information.

Health Navigator Amharic Health Information (https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/languages/a/amharic/): A website overseen by the Health Navigator Charitable Trust in New Zealand.  Resources are listed under an alphabetical list of health topics, including important common topics like children’s health, women’s health, mental health, sexual health, oral health, immunizations, accessing healthcare, asthma, diabetes, heart health, and more.  Formats include PDFs and HTML websites.

Health Translations Amharic Resources (http://www.healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcht.nsf/PresentMultilingualResource?Open&x=&s=Amharic): An online directory created by the Victorian Government of Australia to provide consumer health information in multiple languages. Browse through an alphabetical list of health topics to view Amharic health resources related to each topic.  Most resources seem to be in PDF format. Topics with large collections of resources include cancer, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, infections, mental health, and parenting.

HealthReach Amharic Resources (https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/searchresults?keywords=&btnsearch=Search&category=1&country=&population=&language=Amharic&format=&user=&records=10): A database of health information in multiple languages from the US National Library of Medicine. Browse through over 60 results, including document, video, and audio resources.  Enter search terms to narrow results by topic.  Resources from toolkits covering a wide range of refugee and immigrant health topics (including “Safe, Smart and Healthy – Keys to Success in Your New Home” series and “Health and Wellbeing” series) are available, as well as patient materials related to bed bugs, women’s health, children’s health, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, and a Zika fact sheet.

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Video about medical care and health insurance in Amharic, located through HealthReach.

King County Information translated in Amharic (http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/languages/amharic.aspx): Translated health materials from King County, WA.  Download videos, posters, handouts, and comic strips in Amharic, organized under topics related to children’s health, communicable diseases, emergency preparedness, and environmental health.

MedlinePlus Health Information in Amharic (amarunya) (https://medlineplus.gov/languages/amharic.html): Consumer health portal from the National Library of Medicine. Browse a list of Amharic resource links (mostly in PDF format) organized under an alphabetical list of health topics, including emergency preparedness, diabetes, tuberculosis, and more.

Minnesota Department of Health Amharic Translated Materials (http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/translation/amharic.html):  Translated health information from the Minnesota Department of Health.  Browse Amharic handouts (available as PDFs) on topics including emergency preparedness, flu, immunizations, prenatal/postpartum depression, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis.

Multicultural Health Communication Amharic Resources (http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au/publicationsandresources/pdf/language-1/amharic#b_start=0): Database of multilingual health resources from the New South Wales (Australia) Ministry of Health. Browse resources available in Amharic and filter by health topic or resource type (including PDFs, audio, video, or website).  Health topics include women’s health, children’s health, nutrition, and common infectious diseases.

Local Resources

Ethiopian Community Center in Maryland (http://ethioccmd.org/):  An organization located in Silver Spring which provides health information, seminars, workshops, health screenings, and medical referrals to the local Ethiopian community.

Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center (http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/gilchrist/): Find links and referrals for immigrants in Montgomery County, including healthcare-related referrals.

Where to Start with Big Data?

Librarians have to sink or swim in the constantly shifting waters of the information field, and the latest wave sweeping over information sciences is Big Data. I started learning about the importance of data analysis and visualization while working with patents, where analysis of large patent portfolios could be used for competitive intelligence, planning acquisitions, spotting trends in a technology sector, and much more.

Now working in the health field, I’m truly beginning to see why everyone calls it “Big Data.”  The amount of data generated through general healthcare services and biomedical research is truly staggering, ranging from data in electronic health records to genomic data generated through human genome sequencing.  How do we make this data searchable and reusable, so researchers can discover new innovations from existing data sets?  How do we also protect personal information, especially with data generated from electronic health records?  Can researchers retain intellectual property rights to their data while still making their data searchable and reusable?  There are so many thorny issues to consider and new concepts to learn surrounding Big Data and data science in general, and it can be a daunting task trying to find a place to start.

Here are a few resources which are helping me wrap my mind around basic data science concepts and the current state of Big Data:

  1. To get an overview of how data science is impacting the healthcare field, I’m taking the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) online course Big Data in Healthcare: Emerging Roles.  (I highly recommend checking the NNLM Upcoming Classes list for other free courses and webinars you can sign up for.)
  2. Check out this recording of a webinar called Data Science 101: An Introduction for Librarians (also from NNLM), which provides a quick overview of data science concepts like the data science pipeline, machine learning, supervised learning, unsupervised learning, natural language processing, etc.
  3. IBM produced a great infographic called The Four V’s of Big Data, which describes how big data can be broken down into four dimensions: volume, velocity, variety, and veracity of the data.
  4. Learn about the FAIR Data Principles, which suggest that all data sets should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable.  A recent article in Nature gives a detailed overview of the FAIR Data Principles.
  5. I found the blog post Is Big Data Still a Thing? (The 2016 Big Data Landscape) by Matt Turck to be a useful overview of the current state of Big Data, especially the infographic included in the post which illustrates many of the major players in the field.