Rare Disease Awareness Editathon on Wikipedia/February 2021
What is a rare disease?
Over 300 million people in the world live with a rare disease, usually throughout the entirety of their life as they are primarily genetic in origin. There are numerous definitions for rare diseases that vary from region to region and country to country, but generally a disease is classified as rare when it affects 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 200,000 individuals in a community. Rare diseases affect the lives of patients and their loved ones or caregivers. Treatment is often extremely difficult for two main reasons: 1) therapy protocols involve costly research 2) the production of medicines is not a profitable field for the pharmaceutical industry, to the extent that often the medications used to treat rare diseases are referred to as orphan drugs. Thus it makes sense that rare disease patients need reliable information they can obtain on the Internet.
How can Wikipedia help?
By making reliable information about rare diseases widely available in as many languages as possible. There is a tremendous lack of articles related to rare diseases on most of the language versions of Wikipedia. On the occasion of Rare Disease Day, designated on a "rare" day - for leap years it is February 29, other years it's February 28 – we're launching the Wikipedia Rare Disease Awareness Editathon for February 2021, hoping that it will be established as an initiative for years to come.
Editors from multiple language communities are joining efforts to spread the idea to a growing list of Wikipedias. We have drafted a list of articles that are missing in Greek and Arabic, and we welcome other language communities to join. Add your username/community if you want to join and/or represent your community and add a column to the tables below for your language (if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!)
- We have separated the articles into three main categories: genetic, skeletal and infectious.
- The lists below represent articles that are missing from both Greek and Arabic, however feel free to add articles missing from your language to the list. The links to the categories will help you identify what else is missing in your language.
- An editor who creates an article can add the link to the table. We will be checking and updating regularly as new content is created.
Rare genetic syndromes
Rare infectious diseases
Rare skeletal diseases
Here is a list of general articles with useful information related to rare diseases:
What else can I do?
Ideally, we would like to see the articles in the above lists on Wikipedia in multiple languages… but there are simpler things that you can do! Some ideas:
- Improve the quality of existing rare disease articles
- Translate labels and descriptions of rare diseases on Wikidata to your native language
- Upload photos related to rare diseases on Commons
Use the discussion page to post us a note about what you have accomplished, or suggest a new idea :)
Arabic: Mossab Banat
English: Netha Hussain
Greek: Mina Theofilatou
If you are interested in this awareness campaign, feel free to add your name here: