Dr. Gwinyai Masukume, is a medical doctor and public health researcher with a passion for sharing knowledge! Dr. Masukume, currently affiliated with University College Dublin (UCD), has been a dedicated volunteer on Wikipedia for an impressive 20 years, even contributing during his time at University College Cork (UCC). He is a valued member of Wikimedia Community Ireland and was recently celebrated as a medical editor by the Wikimedia Foundation. 

Photo by Diane Cusack Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0 File provided by Wikimedia Commons

Driven by a desire to give back, Dr. Masukume is one of many medical professionals who donate their expertise to improve the accuracy and accessibility of health information on Wikipedia. He recognizes the immense value this free online encyclopedia holds for countless people seeking general and medical knowledge. For example, during critical health emergencies like the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Wikipedia’s medical pages became lifelines for affected communities. In countries at the epicenter of the crisis, people relied heavily on Wikipedia’s Ebola articles for up-to-date information. Wikipedia also helped to overcome language barriers during this crisis.

The impact of Dr. Masukume’s volunteer work extends far beyond everyday searches. He, along with other volunteer medical editors, ensures Wikipedia’s strength and enhances accessibility. Their local expertise empowers individuals to understand complex medical topics by providing information in various languages and with timely updates.

 “What motivates me,” says Dr. Masukume, “is just the sense of giving back. I’ve benefited from Wikipedia when I’ve looked up general information and even medical information.” 

The reach of Wikipedia’s medical information extends to personal health journeys as well.  Many people, after receiving a diagnosis, turn to Wikipedia for information, highlighting the crucial role these volunteer editors play. The countless messages of gratitude from readers solidify this positive impact.

Dr. Masukume exemplifies the dedication of medical professionals who volunteer their time on Wikipedia. Volunteers like him, are more than just contributors; they are champions for accessible and reliable health information, ensuring it reaches everyone who needs it.

Interested in learning more? Dr. Masukume’s scholarly contributions to Wikipedia can be found in several publications. For example his article on Why and how medical schools, peer-reviewed journals, and research funders should promote Wikipedia editing and his contribution to an essay on the Evolution of Wikipedia’s medical content: past, present and future.

If you’re inspired by Dr. Masukume’s work and want to learn more about health information or even contribute to Wikipedia yourself, feel free to reach out to Wikimedia Community Ireland. We offer Wikipedia training sessions and editing support to organisations and educational institutions. 

This article was inspired and informed by Wikipedia’s medical article editors: Voices from the frontlinesby the wikimedia Foundation.

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