Wiki Project Med Foundation Launches Offline Medical Apps in Chinese, Arabic, Persian, and Spanish.

Press Release | Wiki Project Med Foundation, Wikimedia Switzerland and Kiwix | August 16, 2016

Wiki Project Med Foundation and Wikimedia Switzerland have launched Chinese, Arabic, Persian, and Spanish versions of Medical Wikipedia, a free app that offers offline access to thousands of Wikipedia articles. Each app contains articles related to human anatomy, pharmacology, medicine, and sanitation. It runs on Android devices version 4.0 and up. Once the app is installed, all articles can be accessed without an internet connection.

This charitable venture leverages the freely-licensed information compiled on Wikipedia; end users do not need to pay, divulge unnecessary personal information, or see advertising to use the app. The value of Wikipedia’s health coverage has been promoted in recent years by the U.S. National Institutes for Health Cochrane, and in the pages of the New York Times and academic press.

Since the English version of Medical Wikipedia launched in June 2016, tens of thousands have installed it, thereby gaining easy access to useful information about health and medicine. Most users are in the developing world, where internet access is slow or expensive. Says WikiProject Med founder James Heilman, MD: “Everyone deserves access to high quality health care information in their own language, and this is a critical step towards achieving that goal.”

Translation and app development ongoing

In addition to the app, Wiki Project Med Foundation in collaboration with Translators Without Borders, and local communities continues to translate medical content. In early 2016 we translated 23 vaccine articles into Odia, a language spoken by 40 million people in Eastern India. Once live each article held the first spot in Google’s search results; for many of the vaccines, it was the only content available. Since their creation we have seen as exponential increase in readership of this content on Wikipedia.
Wiki Project Med and its partners continue to develop app distribution channels and additional language editions (such as French, Portuguese, Hindi, and Odia) for Medical Wikipedia.

Interested volunteers or organizations are encouraged to join Translators Without Borders or Wikipedia to help translate; review source code, or port the app to other platforms; or donate to Wikimedia Switzerland, Translators Without Borders, or Wiki Project Med Foundation.

About Wiki Project Med Foundation
Wiki Project Med Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes the development and distribution of freely-licensed medical content on Wikimedia projects. Wiki Project Med advises like-minded organizations on online collaboration, promotes free access to medical information through talks at universities and NGOs, and improves access to the medical literature for Wikipedia’s volunteer writers and editors. Wiki Project Med has a global focus; it is based in New York and tax exempt in the United States. Its members seek to provide the sum of all medical knowledge to all people in their own language. For more information, see

About Wikimedia Switzerland and Kiwix
Wikimedia CH is a registered Swiss charity whose goal is to support access to knowledge, most notably through the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and its sister projects. Wikimedia CH is an independent chapter recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation and is legally independent from it.

Kiwix is a platform that allows readers to access Wikipedia, TED Talks, the Gutenberg library and many other platforms while being offline. It is currently used in more than 100 countries with little to no internet access, ranging from Madagascar to Cuba to North Korea. With a little under a million downloads per year, Kiwix has won multiple prizes and awards and is now available on Windows, Linux, MacOs, iOs and Andriod. It has been independently developed by a team of volunteers since 2006 and is supported by Wikimedia CH. For more information, see and

About Internet-in-a-Box
Internet-in-a-Box is an inexpensive device that brings rich content to “offline” schools, libraries, clinics and prisons worldwide, no matter how limited their Internet connectivity. Content includes Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, Khan Academt, Project Gutenberg eBooks, TED Talks, and many of the very best educational videos from YouTube. Internet-in-a-Box is built with free and open source technology derived from One Laptop Per Child’s School Server, and can be customized to any organization or region’s language needs, without the cost of a complex digital library. For more information, or to contact our professional volunteers and implementers, see:, and

About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit organization provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by partnering with humanitarian organizations. Originally founded in 1993 in France as Traducteurs sans Frontieres (now its sister organization), Translators without Borders translates more than eight million words per year. In 2012, the organization established a Translator Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya and over 250 translators have been trained to date. For more information, and to volunteer or donate, please visit the TWB website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

About Wikimedia South Africa
Wikimedia ZA a registered volunteer driven non-profit organization setup to help represent the South African wiki contributing community in an effort to promote free access to knowledge. This includes promotion of free knowledge projects such as the free encyclopedia Wikipedia as well as its sister projects in Africa and particularly in South Africa. This is done by both, increasing easy access to free knowledge for all, and by expanding the range and depth of content available. Wikimedia ZA is an independent chapter recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation and is legally independent from it.
For more information, see

About Wikimedia Taiwan
Wikimedia Taiwan is the Wikimedia chapter founded in Taiwan in 2007. It is a volunteer based organization that promotes open knowledge in Taiwan. They have been working with local medical schools since 2014 to develop Chinese Wikipedia’s medical content through translation.

About HealthPhone
HealthPhone is a project of The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust (MCHET), a non-profit charitable trust, founded to establish communications technologies – delivering information to educate, motivate, empower and inspire communities around better health and nutrition practices. We are motivated by the idea that information, directly and properly disseminated, will play a key role in dramatically improving health, mortality and the quality of life in these communities. We provide free access to a large personal video reference library, in 78 languages, for health workers, families and communities, especially those who live in villages and slums, to use in their mobile phones, when they need it, where they are, and as they are. This innovative way to use mobile technology provides access to knowledge, including for those with low literacy levels, about common childhood diseases, pregnancy, nutrition, childbirth, the first year of life, child survival, growth, learning, development and protection, and empower women to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families. For more information, see Twitter Facebook YouTube

For further information about Medical Wikipedia, please contact James Heilman, MD:
[email protected]