AwezaMed – A multilingual African communication tool
With 11 official languages, language barriers exist in every aspect of South African society. As a result, many struggle to access essential services like healthcare.
Following the success of its education pilot, Aweza turned its focus to the healthcare sector. In February 2018, it formally launched a research and development process in collaboration with a team of human language technology researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to explore and develop a technology-based solution for this problem.
Focusing on the provision of women’s health, the result – called AwezaMed – is now piloting at eight different clinics and hospitals across South Africa, with provincial-level endorsement.
It is geared specifically towards assisting medical practitioners to navigate cross-lingual patient consultations in key areas of women’s health, such as maternity care, STI diagnosis and counseling and history-taking.
The app incorporates the speech-to-speech translation pipeline developed by the CSIR, which allows for South African language speech recognition, translation of text from one language to another, and the synthesis of that speech into audio. Each of these components of the speech-to-speech pipeline will be implemented into the app across three stages of piloting.
To order and back the translation app on Indiegogo, click here.
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