Improving health awareness among Arabic speaking people in Sweden

Oriola’s pharmacy chain Kronans Apotek and Aktarr, an online news media for Arabic speaking people in Sweden, have set out to increase knowledge of health issues and the healthcare sector among the Arab community in the country. Late October 2019, the cooperation resulted in organising Sweden's largest Arab health event in Stockholm.

In Sweden, one out of five from the population has been born abroad today, and Arabic is now the second most common native language. Arabic is even more common than Finnish, which historically has been the second largest language. At the same time, there are challenges in trust towards the healthcare sector among the Arab community.

“There is a great lack of health communication in Arabic, which has led to many misconceptions, myths and negative feedback flourishing within the group. Improving communication with Arabic speaking people would reduce both social costs and save lives,” says Kotada Yonus, CEO and founder of the news platform Aktarr.

Arabic speaking pharmacists give health guidance on videos

This challenge sparked the idea for cooperation between Aktarr and Kronans Apotek pharmacy chain. Aktarr makes news in Arabic about what's happening in Sweden and other parts of the world, and the platform has become one of the most popular news sources for Arabic speaking people in Sweden. The cooperation started approximately a year ago when Aktarr started publishing thematic counselling videos with Arabic speaking pharmacists of Kronans Apotek. The topics have covered for example blood pressure, pollen allergy and sun protection. The videos have been very well-received with approximately 40,000 views per video.

In addition, Aktarr and Kronans Apotek also invited the Arabic speaking people to a health event in Stockholm on 21 October to learn more about Swedish healthcare, pharmacies' role in society and other health topics.

“Helping everyone to live healthier lives is at the core of our purpose. Our society has become more diverse, and this important initiative demonstrates how we can support this diversity. Health is a very personal and delicate matter, and by offering information for the Arab community in their native language, we can support their health and wellbeing,” says Anders Torell, Vice President of Business Area Consumer at Oriola.