Danbury, CT, USA – 16 August 2016 – Community health workers who understand Arabic, Chinese or English now have access to thousands of articles on their phones, off-line for free. Translators without Borders, the Wiki Project Med Foundation and Wikimedia Switzerland have announced the launch of the Arabic and Chinese version of the offline medical Wikipedia app as an addition to the original English version. This app contains more than 50,000 medical articles in English, related to human anatomy, pharmacology, medicine, and sanitation and the new Arabic and Chinese versions have 10,000 and 6,000 articles respectively. Once installed on a mobile device, all that content can be accessed offline and without the need for any internet connection. “Over the last half year the Wiki Project Med Foundation has reported exponential growth in downloads of the English version of the app. Most have been from the developing world, where internet access is slow or expensive,” says James Heilman, MD.
“This is potentially transformative and life-saving. Up-to-date medical information is difficult to get in rural areas; this app and the content means that rural health workers in China can have access to information without huge books or an internet connection. Egypt has less than 4 nurses and midwives per 1,000 people – this information could help them enormously to find the information they need, in their language…and quickly,” says Translators without Borders Executive Director, Aimee Ansari.
Translators without Borders and the Wiki Project Med Foundation have worked in partnership since 2012, delivering to date 1,900 medical articles to 3.3 million readers per month in 83 languages. That is an estimated 39 million people accessing free, uncensored, accurate and timely information in their language every year on topics like the urgent Ebola or Zika fever outbreaks and perennial concerns like diarrhoea, malaria and birth control.
Wiki Project Med Foundation and Translators without Borders are both parts of the global initiative: Healthcare Information For All. More information about the progress of these projects can be seen here
To get involved with developing content in English, to donate healthcare images under an open license, or to learn more about these efforts contact Wiki Project Med Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org
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