Blue Book of Migration Medicine

Pictogram-based translation book on anamnesis, diagnostics and therapy for clinics and medical practices

In emergency care facilities in Germany, 25 million people are seen, treated, admitted as inpatients, transferred or referred as outpatients each year.

Here, the hospital becomes the interface of medical care structures; at the same time, it is also a meeting place for people from different linguistic, social, cultural and ideological backgrounds. The professional staff is challenged to meet the patients professionally competent, but also interculturally competent – and this against the background of increasingly scarce personnel resources and time allotments.

It has long been part of everyday life in Germany that people from many different cultures live here. Most are third and fourth generation residents and have grown up both multilingual and bi-cultural. Nevertheless, there are people who have not learned the German language even after years or after decades. Moreover, given the – mostly politically motivated – rapid and steadily increasing migration movement of recent years, many new immigrants and refugees are often not proficient in either German or English. Conversely, many employees of the hospital structures do not speak any of the major world languages, but only German. For example, many hospitals and medical practices are increasingly faced with the challenge of the language barrier between patients and staff.

However, medical assistance without a minimum of communication is hardly conceivable. In addition, communication gaps carry the risk of underdiagnosis (by not exploring what should be done) and overdiagnosis (to compensate for existing knowledge deficits).

In this book, the ingenious idea has been implemented not to translate relevant issues into Arabic, Icelandic, or Chinese, for example, but to translate them into pictograms. This makes it possible to understand each other even in the absence of a translator.
Pictograms have long found their way into safety regulations, instruction manuals, or computer user interfaces, to name just a few international applications. This visual language can be understood anywhere on the planet, in minutes and efficiently.

The EFVM’s “Blue Book of Migration Medicine” is a professional as well as pragmatic communication aid and shines through its clear structure.
Prepared by a team of authors with medical, psychological, and sociological expertise, as well as in-depth practical knowledge of migration medicine, we promise that this book will be an effective aid in the emergency room and in the doctor’s office.