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Saturday, Feb 23rd

Wikipedia’s Ebola information translated into SA languages

Wikipedia’s Ebola information translated into SA languages.

South Africans can now access health information about deadly disease, Ebola, in their preferred language on free online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Global language service provider, Rubric, has donated its translation services to Wikimedia ZA to provide South African citizens with essential health information on the disease.

Rubric teamed up with Wiki Project Medicine and WikiAfrica to translate Ebola information in the full range of South African languages.

The South African languages that the health information has been translated to include Xhosa, Zulu, Setswana, Sesotho, Siswati, Ndebele, Xitsonga, Tshivenda and Sepedi.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. Ebola outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

And since March this year, the Ebola outbreak has swept across West African countries Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea resulting in a death toll of more than 1,550 people so far.

Although there haven't been any reported cases of Ebola in South Africa there are fears that the disease may find its way from West Africa.

The Rubric partnership then aims to allow South Africans to get advice on how to prevent and recognise the symptoms of infection on Wikipedia.org in their home language.

Françoise Henderson, chief executive officer at Rubric says in other instances UNICEF’s efforts to promote health messages in English and French is complicated by the majority of the population, especially in rural areas, not speaking colonial languages.

“People need to have information in their own language to improve understanding of the measures that can reduce their risk of infection,” said Henderson.

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