Health Literacy

Medical Student Advances Multilingual Health Literacy for COVID-19

Evidence-based fact sheets  are available for free in more than 30 languages from the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project. The project is the brainchild of Pooja Chandrashekare, a first-year medical student at Harvard Medical School, and now reflects the work of more than 150 medical students who have helped translate evidence-based information into accessible and practical fact sheets appropriate for the general public. The fact sheets, which are available in more than 30 languages, including English, cover topics such as avoiding infection, managing COVID-19, and talking about the pandemic with children in different age groups.

Chandrashekare explained in an interview with STAT News that the idea came to her earlier this year, after she and some of her multilingual medical school friends had noticed that in languages other than English, information about COVID-19 for the general public was limited and of uneven quality. The project’s website explains the process that ensures the quality of the project’s information: “All of our materials are carefully reviewed and vetted by faculty members at Harvard Medical School and are created in collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing.”

A wide range of organizations across the world – hospitals, community health centers, mobile clinics, government agencies, medical publishers and non-profits, from the Consulate General of Japan and a homeless shelter in Boston to hospitals in Colombia and India – distribute the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project’s fact sheets. To learn more and download materials, visit the project’s website.


This fact sheet from the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project is designed for 6-12 year olds.


Susan Carr Susan Carr is a medical editor and writer specializing in patient safety and engagement. In addition to curating the EngagingPatients blog, she produces publications for the Betsy Lehman Center in Boston and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. Susan lives and works in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

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