"Pointers for a Web-based Birth Defects (BD) Information System for non-English Speakers"
Wladimir Wertelecki, MD; Serhiy Lapchenko; Lyubov Yevtushok; Natalya Zymak
OMNI-Net Ukrainian Birth Defects Registry and Medical Genetics,
University of South Alabama
307 University Blvd - HSB Suite 1400, Mobile, AL 36688, USA,
251-460-7505, 251-461-1591, email@example.com
IBIS, an International BD Information System, is a website initially designed to enhance BD health care services, parental support groups and five BD surveillance teams in Ukraine (http://www.ibis-birthdefects.org).
Nearly 700 fact sheets in Ukrainian were developed by Ukrainian experts. IBIS also provides access to other sources of information, particularly those in non-English. An equally popular companion website, solely in English, (Pandora - www.consultsos.com/pandora/intro.htm), concerned with humanistic vistas of medicine offers a comparison reference point. IBIS was promoted by Ukrainian BD teams, while Pandora was not.
Most of the nearly thirty thousand monthly visitors to IBIS are from the United States. After English, the most common languages installed on user-computers visiting the IBIS website are in Russian (there are no computer operating systems in Ukrainian), followed by Spanish, Japanese, French and Dutch. The total number of visitors from Ukraine ranked 8th in contrast to visitors from the Russian Federation and Poland who ranked 24th and 26th. Visitors from Ukraine to Pandora ranked 47th, in comparison from those the Russian Federation and Poland ranked 27th and 18th respectively. The contrast of the proportion of Ukrainian visitors to IBIS, compared to those visiting Pandora, is greater than in any other country.
Conclusions or Significance:
We attribute this contrast to the promotion of IBIS by BD Ukrainian teams and believe that the flow of BD information in Ukraine was substantially enhanced. Currently, IBIS attracts significant numbers of Spanish speaking visitors. Visitors from Spain and Mexico to IBIS rank 14th and 16th compared to 9th and 16th for Pandora. We conclude that the development and promotion of a Spanish information IBIS channel is desirable and is likely to enhance the flow of BD related information in a similar manner as it occurred in Ukraine.
Date of report: May 29, 2007