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How we made CervicalCheck’s multilingual video messages

Understanding cervical screening in Ireland has been made simpler, through a series of new multilingual videos aimed at those who have limited English.

Why we did it

When we changed to HPV cervical screening last year, we created new information to tell people about the new test. When the test was launched, GPs and Practice Nurses started to get in touch.

They told us that because of language barriers, they were at times struggling to let some patients know that screening was available to them, and what to expect from the test and the results.

We agreed to run a small pilot project where we would provide our information to migrant people in a way that was culturally appropriate, using video format to help build trust in screening in a disadvantaged population. The video link could be sent by text message by GPs to patients or viewed via a mobile phone while in the surgery. However, creating video content could take time, and this information was needed by GPs quickly.

In November 2020, the GP-led social enterprise, Translate Ireland, came on-board to help produce these new multilingual videos for CervicalCheck.

Translate Ireland works with a network of migrant groups across Ireland to make sure the messages reach those who may need to see them.  Its COVID-19 World Service was named ‘The Best Response to Covid19 initiative’ by a Not-For-Profit at the Irish Healthcare Awards in December, 2020. What made Translate Ireland a good fit for our project is that it works with native speakers to present its videos. For health-based video messages, the group works with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, originally from overseas but now living and working in Ireland.

Here’s how we worked with Translate Ireland to produce 11 multilingual videos to explain what happens at the cervical screening test, and why it is important to come for screening:

The script:

The script for the video messages was drafted by CervicalCheck using its current English language video scripts. Translate Ireland’s medical lead then worked to clarify all aspects of the script. Some changes were agreed to make sure the information was translated accurately, and culturally appropriate.

The script was written up by a translation company in Arabic, French, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish and Urdu.

Within weeks a video message, in 12 different languages, explaining the aims and benefits of cervical screening had been completed.  The range of languages reflects the most common languages (excluding English and Irish) spoken by non-Irish nationals as reported in the 2016 census.

The videos also offered further information for migrant women on how the screening process works.

The presenters:

While the majority of presenters of these video messages are general practitioners (GPs) working across Ireland, there is also a paediatrician, a theatre nurse, a psychologist and a medical researcher.

The production:

The video messages were recorded by each presenter using their smart phone or fixed device. Translate Ireland worked with each presenter beforehand to advise on presenting style, lighting, background, volume and other areas of production. Once recorded the video messages had HSE logos and contact details added.

The distribution:

The videos were launched by CervicalCheck in January to mark European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (Jan 18-22). The video messages were uploaded to Translate Ireland’s YouTube Channel and to the CervicalCheck website and HSE website channel. The video messages are being shared by CervicalCheck, the HSE and Translate Ireland.

For more: 

Our multilingual videos are available at here on the CervicalCheck website or here on the HSE YouTube channel or TranslateIreland 

We are adding new languages soon. To tell us what you think or suggest a language email: 


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