How Translation Can Affect the World’s Health

01/30/19

The healthcare industry has become bigger and more important than ever before. New viruses, illnesses, and conditions are cropping up each day. Keeping the world healthy and safe has become a major concern for medical professionals everywhere.

For example, modern medicine has been challenged by issues such as antibiotic resistance in certain bacteria that have become a serious and urgent threat. Each year, approximately “2 million people get sick from a superbug…about 23,000 die,” according to WebMD. But what if there was a way to discover a cure today by translating medical documents from the past?

The Past Helps the Present

Medical knowledge from the past often gets left in the past, but last year, a group of people from multiple universities and countries sought to discover if the past could save the future. Comprised of “a group of medievalists, microbiologists, medicinal chemists, parasitologists, pharmacists and data scientists,” they called themselves the “Ancientbiotics team” (Connelly, 2017). They took ancient remedies and recipes from medieval texts, translated them into modern terms and measurements, and found a few interesting mixtures that produced amazing results.

One medieval recipe was created that “turned out to be a potent antistaphylococcal agent” which killed the superbug MRSA in lab testing, says Connelly. Connelly went on to translate an entire text of Latin medical recipes that her team can use as a reference when attempting to treat infectious diseases in the future. Good translation might someday save lives when it comes to the war on superbugs.

Medieval recipe

Discoveries That Can Save Lives

The medical field changes constantly, and the need for medical translation is more important now than ever before. As new drugs are created, new bacteria and viruses found, and more people afflicted by illnesses and conditions, it takes translators who are specialists in the medical field to foster communication between specialists.

Translators who know the jargon and have a knowledge of medicine, pharmaceuticals and technical vocabulary can be the first line of defense as countries around the world work to share their knowledge and discoveries that can save lives.

Healthcare In A Foreign Land

More people travel to more areas of the world than at any time in history, and people can get sick no matter how far away from home they might be. High-quality translations of medical records and documents are imperative so that the “doctors and nurses will become better informed about their foreign patients if for example, they have access to their translated healthcare records,” says Luke Sewell of Latin Link. Sewell goes on to say that “the patient also benefits as they are made aware of the details regarding any medical procedure or care that needs to be taken.”

When it comes to professional, human translation in any field, contact ITC to get the right people for the right job. We have specialized medical translators in multiple medical fields such as oncology, surgical procedures, and public health. When everyone works together, from the past to the present, it can create one healthy future.

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