Global Health Photography Competition 2019

Global Health Collaborative

The Global Health Photography competition is a yearly event to capture and display the global health activity of people from the South West Peninsula.

It’s open to all staff and students of the University of Plymouth and affiliated organisations such as the NHS or charities as part of the Global Health Collaborative.

The judging is based on a combination of technical merit, artistic ability and the Global Health message that the photo conveys.

1st place – Teerajet Taechameekietichai

This photo was taken in one of the public hospitals in Thailand; showing an ophthalmologist doing an examination (indirect ophthalmoscope) to look at the fundus of the patient. 

However, due to the limited resource and consultation rooms, the examination and history taking was done in a waiting area. 

This demonstrated how a lack of funding in developing countries affects patients' confidentiality and quality of care.

Teerajet Taechameekietichai

2nd place – Sammy Katso

This photo shows the medical outpatients waiting area at the Mae Tao Clinic, close to the Thai-Myanmar border crossing. The clinic on the Thai side of the border offers free healthcare to the displaced Burmese population. 

Without homes, human rights protection and official documentation, they are unable to access healthcare in their own country and cannot legally cross any borders. 

Severely ill patients travel or days across rural Myanmar with their families and enough belongings to last a few days, illegally cross the border on a small boat, and bundle into safe jeepnies risking arrest by the Thai police until they are safely inside the clinic grounds. 

Presentations range from tropical diseases to severe, advanced presentations of previously undiagnosed chronic diseases.

This image captures the diversity of Burmese people from the varying states of their beautiful country brought together by the need to access healthcare, united by long-standing suffering, remarkable survival and amazing generosity.

Sammy Katso

The Thanakha on their faces demonstrating the pride for their culture despite the hardship that challenges them daily.

Patients often wait all day to be seen but are content in the knowledge that they are safe now, they have made it.

3rd place – Matthew Griggs

In May 2019, two University of Plymouth lecturers travelled to Nepal as part of a scoping exercise that hopes to see the development of sustainable first aid education programmes, led by paramedic students, in rural and remote communities across the country.

Nepal is one of Asia's poorest countries, and rural communities are the recipients of minimal healthcare resources and education. Patients needing to travel to a hospital may face long and difficult journeys due to a lack of transportation infrastructure and the inhospitable terrain.

Without first aid, these journeys often contribute to the worsening of any injury or medical condition, which can sometimes lead to long-term health and wellbeing problems for the patients and families involved.

The first aid course trialled this year saw 70 enthusiastic members of one rural community trained in how to deal with a range of injuries and life-threatening conditions. 

Any equipment used in the training needed to be readily available within the community and consisted of nothing more than cardboard boxes, plastic bags, pieces of cloth and bamboo.

Matthew Griggs

Any equipment used in the training needed to be readily available within the community and consisted of nothing more than cardborard boxes, plastic bags, pieces of cloth and bamboo. 

As well as addressing a clear desire for public health information within these communities, this project aims to also improve paramedic students' appreciation of global healthcare issues.

Highly commended – Alexandra Sloan

This photograph was taken in the post-natal care room at the Mae Tao Clinic, two kilometers from the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge. 

The new mother is wearing Thanakara, a natural cosmetic made from tree bark that many Burmese people use to protect and cleanse their skin, enhance beauty, and to show cultural pride. 

A large population of Burmese people has no official identity as they do not have a Myanmar passport. This denies them the right to access healthcare and education, resulting in a significantly high maternal mortality rate. 

The Mae Tao Clinic offers free healthcare to this displaced but vibrant population, in particular, it hosts a busy reproductive health department that provides an environment for an appropriate antenatal check-up, safe delivery of newborns and supportive postnatal care.

Many pregnant or labouring women travel for days to reach the clinic. 

Alexandra Sloan

This photograph captures the infectious joy and love of a new mother swaddling her newborn despite the hardship she faces every day