Bilingual educators offer breast health info to CALD communities

Western Sydney Local Health District’s Bilingual Community Education (BCE) program has been working with the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute (BCI) for BreastScreen NSW Sydney West to boost breast screening rates for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women in western Sydney.


The program’s trained bilingual educators have started delivering breast health and breast screening programs to CALD women in-language, in the hope of encouraging more women between 50 and 74 to get their free mammograms.


Last month, 15 educators undertook training in breast health and screening, taking away the resources to deliver information sessions to their respective communities.


In early April, the educators presented in-language to Mandarin, Arabic and Cantonese speaking groups.


BCE program co-ordinator Anoop Johar said the information sessions were designed to specifically target CALD women.


“Many participants have low literacy in their own language so these programs are designed to have minimal reading and writing,” she said.


“We aim to promote good health and wellbeing through verbal and visual communication strategies, using educators from the same background, speaking the same language as the participants.”


Multicultural Health Promotion team manager Marta Menendez said: “the BCE co-ordinator organises group bookings for breast health program participants to go for a mammogram. For some participants, it’s the first time in their lives they go for health screening of any kind. The BCEs accompany participants to support them through this process.”


The BCE program also spruiked the BreastScreen program at this year’s Parramasala event, marching in the parade in partnership with Pink Sari Inc.


WSLHD Muticultural Health has been running the bilingual community education program since 1990.


Programs run in nearly 30 different languages and cover topics like women’s health, mental health, domestic violence, parenting


For more information on the BCE program, contact Anoop Johar on 9840 3907 or email anoop.johar@health.nsw.gov.au