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Multi-lingual Health Resource

by Jacqueline M. Newman


Fall Volume: 2005 Issue: 12(3) page(s): 39

Tufts University Health Sciences Library recently announced an unprecedented one-of-a-Kind information resource for Asian-Americans. It was dubbed SPIRAL, standing for Selected Patient Information Resources in Asian Languages. For those with computer access and that means everyone who has one at home or work, or can get to a public library, they can use this resource.

This is a web site that details a wide variety of valuable health information in seven Asian languages. They are, specifically: Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese. As Eric Albright, the Director of the Health Sciences Library at Tufts University says, the information is also provided in English. This massive marvelous multilingual resource follows a Tufts tradition of providing electronic resources to the international community.

The access is convenient and bridges the gap between those speaking Asian languages and their health care providers. "It provides valuable medical information from a trusted site," says Elaine Martin, the director of the New England region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Thanks belong to a project that began with the South Cove Community Health Center and the Tufts University Health Sciences Library. With grants from the New England Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine under contract NLM-00-101/SMS and others, everyone now can access this 'SPIRAL' which provides “the best medical information,” says Deputy Director Cora Ho. She says it will continue to provide access to more web sites and more documents. The Health Sciences Library at Tufts is providing respected information, and contributing to everyone having the opportunity to be “better informed and, hopefully, healthier,” said the library’s director, Eric Albright.

SPIRAL is segmented by language and by subject. It is easy to use. One can search for documents in any one of the seven Asian languages, or English on topics such as nutrition, asthma, diabetes, substance abuse, SARS and HIV/AIDS. To access it, simply go to the main web site, select the language, and then search for the information. Do check out http://spiral.tufts.edu

Flyers abot SPIRAL are available in Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, or English. For them or other information about SPIRAL, please contact the: Information Services Librarian/SPIRAL Web Master by phone at (617) 636-3988 at the Health Sciences Library of Tufts University in Boston Massachusetts.

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