Across the globe, societies are recording an increasing number of domestic and international migrants for numerous reasons. While this may promote multiculturalism, new migrants and linguistically minority ethnocultural groups may face challenges in fully and equitably participating in various aspects of broader societies, due to language barriers. The purpose of this paper is to propose the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes as an innovative intervention to address this long standing issue of language barriers, specifically as it pertains to accessing pertinent health information in multicultural societies. The USSD is a protocol that allows two-way communication between mobile phones and service providers, and which can be used independent of internet access. By dialing specific USSD codes (e.g. *555#) on their mobile phones, the proposed intervention would enable culturally and linguistically diverse populations in Ghana to access pertinent health information, particularly preventive information in understood language options on their phones. Using the current state of multiculturalism in Ghana as an example, this paper also describes how the proposed intervention can be developed, implemented and evaluated. The paper concludes by highlighting the significance of the proposed intervention to multiculturalism in Ghana and the implications for research. Bridging language barriers in access to health information is central to promoting the health of multicultural societies and fostering multicultural relationships. Therefore, overall, it is expected that this paper would stimulate thinking and research into innovative approaches that may help to successfully bridge language barriers in the area of health of multicultural societies.
Osae-Larbi, J. A. (2016). Bridging the language barrier gap in the health of multicultural societies: report of a proposed mobile phone-based intervention using Ghana as an example. SpringerPlus, 5(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-2602-x