The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit entity that administers Wikipedia, have joined hands to provide reliable information on the Covid pandemic. The move has been taken after misleading news on the deadly infectious disease.
The collaboration is part of a shared commitment from WHO and Wikimedia Foundation to ensure everyone has access to critical public health information surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic
The information, including WHO infographics and videos, can be accessed on Wikimedia Commons, a digital library of free images and other multimedia.
According to a WHO press release, with these new freely-licensed resources, Wikipedia’s more than 250,000 volunteer editors can also build on and expand the site’s Covid 19 coverage, which currently offers more than 5,200 coronavirus-related articles in 175 languages. This WHO content will also be translated across national and regional languages through Wikipedia’s vast network of global volunteers.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO, said, “Our new collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation will increase access to reliable health information from WHO across multiple countries, languages, and devices."
He pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, WHO has taken steps to prevent an infodemic -- defined by the organization as “an overabundance of information and the rapid spread of misleading or fabricated news, images, and videos.”
Katherine Maher, CEO at the Wikimedia Foundation, said that access to information is essential to healthy communities and should be treated as such which becomes even more clear in times of global health crises when information can have life-changing consequences.
“All institutions, from governments to international health agencies, scientific bodies to Wikipedia, must do our part to ensure everyone has equitable and trusted access to knowledge about public health, regardless of where you live or the language you speak", said Maher.