A new initiative to produce video messages giving public health advice on Covid-19 in different languages aims to help the migrant community to better understand the safety measures in place in Ireland to help to prevent transmission of the virus.

Dr Shamim Syed, a GP in Cavan, told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that "we presume migrant communities will understand the messages" about public health information given via the news media or in written format.

However, she said that many people in migrant communities living in Ireland follow public health messages from their home country as they consume their native media.

Dr Syed said Brazilian, Pakistani or Russian migrants can often follow public health guidelines from those countries, rather than what is being followed in Ireland.

She said there were not enough visual or video messages in Ireland for migrants and many presenting to her clinic were economic migrants who had no information and a fear about loss of income.

Dr Syed said even those with symptoms were not making their company aware as they had no clear information if they would be looked after and others who had symptoms lived in shared accommodation.

Graham Clifford, from Together Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to improve community integration, explained how the project has now seen more than 20 doctors and healthcare workers in Ireland recording videos in more than 30 languages.

Mr Clifford said the hope was that people will share these messages via WhatsApp groups or social media so that "everyone is on the one page".

The video messages are available on the website of Nasc, a migrant and refugee rights advocacy group.


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