Contact: Robert Mehnert
Recent surveys show more than 50% of adult Hispanics in the U.S. use the Internet. More than half of those, in fact, look to the Web for medical and health information. In response to this, the National Library of Medicine is introducing its popular consumer health information Web site, MEDLINEplus, in Spanish. Now users will find many of the authoritative, full-text resources that are available on MEDLINEplus "en Espaņol," too.
"This Department is using the tools at our disposal to increase health education and awareness to Americans across the country," said Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services. "MEDLINEplus en Espaņol is one more step to ensuring that Hispanic Americans have real-time access to the important health information that they need."
"A primary part of NIH's mission is to translate medical advances into health information that the public can use," said Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., NIH Director. "Making MEDLINEplus information available in Spanish greatly expands NIH's ability to carry out its mission to communicate with the public."
MEDLINEplus, available free of charge 24 hours a day, debuted in October 1998. Today the site has over 560 health topics and receives over 1 million visitors per month. The Web address for MEDLINEplus is medlineplus.gov. Hundreds of topics in Spanish point users to appropriate, credible information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies, professional medical associations, and health-related organizations. On the medical encyclopedia pages, full-color illustrations and photographs accompany over 4,000 articles on diseases, injuries, tests, and surgeries. The interactive health tutorials, narrated guides to various health topics, use animated illustrations and plain-language to describe medical procedures, surgeries, and the symptoms and effects of disease.
Non-Spanish-speaking doctors, nurses, librarians, and others looking for Spanish-language materials for their clients will find the new service to be especially useful. A single click of the "Espaņol" link will take users from the English MEDLINEplus page to its corresponding Spanish page.
"We are pleased to offer this service in conjunction with the upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month," said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director of the National Library of Medicine. "Our rapidly growing Spanish-speaking population will find this information-rich Web site in their own language to be convenient to search for answers to their health questions. We plan to add more health information in Spanish in the future," he added.
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Library of Medicine, the world's largest library of the health sciences, is a component of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.