Language barrier can be frustrating for patients and health professionals during healthcare delivery. Clear correspondence is basic to delivering excellent healthcare. The results could be disastrous, if medical information gets lost in translation when patients are describing their symptoms or when doctors explain treatment procedures.
Vodafone Foundation through its Healthline Medical Call Centre is successfully addressing the gaps in healthcare delivery brought about by language limitations. As part of efforts to provide accurate information and medical advice on COVID-19 and other health issues, the Vodafone Healthline Medical Call Centre is resourced with medical doctors who speak a host of local languages including Ga, Twi, Fante, Ewe and Hausa.
In addition to English, the doctors at the call centre deliver expert health advice in five other languages – Mandarin (Chinese), French, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. This is one of the many interventions by the Vodafone Foundation to bring quality healthcare closer to Ghanaians and other foreign nationals residing in the country whilst providing support for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the Healthline Medical Call Centre’s multilingual approach, Geta Striggner-Quartey, Director of Legal and External Affairs at Vodafone Ghana said: “Vodafone Foundation is proud to come up with such an initiative to serve Ghanaians and non-nationals in times like this. This is a true reflection of our commitment to using innovative technology to impact society positively and improve the lives of people.
In light of the community spread during this pandemic, our firm belief in inclusion fueled the multilingual approach by our Healthline Call Centre in the provision of accurate information on the COVID-19 pandemic to Ghanaians and other nationals residing in Ghana. We are excited that the medical call centre continues to complement the efforts of the health authorities in the delivery of quality healthcare information in the fight against the pandemic.”
Dr Bright Asamoah, Clinical Director of the Vodafone Healthline Call Centre, said: “We are happy to be associated with this revolutionary initiative. This innovation, which was made possible by the Vodafone Foundation, provides the platform for us to serve Ghanaians with our expertise as health professionals.
Our team of doctors’ knowledge of multiple languages play a phenomenal role in providing many Ghanaians and other foreigners with medical advice and the right information in order to be safe during the pandemic.”
The Healthline Medical Call Centre operates a daily schedule from 8am to 8pm, and is manned by 50 doctors who have received COVID-19 training from the Ghana Health Services (GHS). The first of its kind in Ghana, the call centre provides expert medical advice to people in need of quality healthcare information from the convenience of their phones by dialling 255 from any Vodafone or MTN number.
Healthline Call Centre, which has been a resounding success, was established in 2013 by the Vodafone Foundation to provide via phone, expert medical advice to Ghanaians, reducing the stress people usually go through to get medical service. The Vodafone Foundation in supporting the country’s fight against the pandemic reopened the medical call centre to provide guidance on COVID-19 and refer suspected cases to the Rapid Response Team (RRT).