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Photostory contest exposes dire scenario of infants health

Published : Sunday, 23 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 209

Photostory contest exposes dire scenario of infants health

Photostory contest exposes dire scenario of infants health

Infants are lying on the bare, cold floor, shivering from the chill entering the room from the windows in the wintry cold afternoon. Babies are wrapped in thin or no blankets that offer little warmth or comfort. There is no proper bedding; the infants are positioned on old, worn-out mats or directly on the floor. Their tiny bodies tremble visibly. Babies cries fill the air.  The cold has a grip on the room, making it a harsh and uninviting place for such vulnerable little ones.

This is a scenario of a children/infant ward in most of the district hospitals. Hundreds of pneumonia-infected infants are lying on the bare floor. The picture was taken by a youth volunteer of Bangladesh Health Watch which came to the limelight through a photostory competition.

In an age where visuals speak louder than words, the role of photography and storytelling have become more significant. In different global crises, it has been perceived that the complex challenges and diverse impacts demand innovative approaches to raise awareness, encourage actions, and drive changes.

This is where photostory competitions focusing on health come into play, serving as a powerful medium to document and humanize different aspects.

By capturing the real-life stories of individuals and communities, the photo stories showcased health issues in a way that statistics and reports often fail to do. These competitions bring forth deeply personal yet universally relevant narratives, bridging the gap between data and the human experience.

The youth, considered change makers, captured valuable pictures portraying the real scenarios in hospitals and the suffering of patients during crisis moments. The hospital authorities strive to provide the best possible support despite limited resources. However, more attention is needed to ensure quality services for the poor, especially when a baby becomes sick. District hospitals are their only support at the local level.

One of the key strengths of photostory competitions on health is their ability to give a voice to the voiceless. Many health crisesdisproportionately affect marginalized communities whose stories often go unheard. Through the lens and words, different problems can be showcased. This visibility can influence policy changes aimed at addressing health disparities.

Bangladesh Health Watch ran the competition in 8districts aiming to examine the current state of the health sector of Bangladesh. The competition received 45 entries which depicted the dilapidated condition of our sub-urban and rural health sector. These photos came up with 100-word captions, more deeply analyzing the very details of the photo.  The competition was showcased also the changing positive sides of the healthcare systems. The cleanliness of the hospital premises with bins in each corner, empathy towards the service receivers with service providers, duty bearers maintaining their duties, etc.

A question may arise- why do we need photostory competitions more? Because it can catalyze behavioral change. Visual storytelling has a unique way of engaging audiences emotionally, making abstract concepts tangible and relatable.

These competitions also encourage collaboration and community involvement. Photographers often work closely with their subjects, health professionals, and local organizations to accurately portray health issues. This collaborative process not only ensures authenticity but also builds a sense of community ownership and accountability.

Furthermore, photostory competitions on health can drive innovation in health communication. In an era dominated by digital media, traditional methods of health education and advocacy may fall short. By leveraging the visual and emotional appeal of photography, health messages can be disseminated more effectively across various platforms, reaching wider and more diverse audiences. This is particularly crucial in engaging younger generations, who are more likely to respond to visual content than written narratives.

In conclusion, photostory competitions on health are not just artistic endeavors; they are vital tools for raising voices for social change. Photographers can raise awareness, inspire action, and foster a deeper understanding of health issues by capturing and sharing the stories of health challenges and triumphs. As we navigate the complexities of global health, let us embrace the power of the visual narrative, using photostory competitions to illuminate the path towards a healthier, more empathetic world.

The writer is a development practitioner

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