UN health agency launches photo contest to fight pregnancy and abortion deaths

10 March 2004

Against a backdrop of over half a million pregnancy and childbirth deaths, 5 million new cases of HIV infection, and nearly 70,000 fatal abortions each year, a United Nations agency today launched a photographic contest as part of its efforts to highlight the importance of sexual and reproductive health.

Against a backdrop of over half a million pregnancy and childbirth deaths, 5 million new cases of HIV infection, and nearly 70,000 fatal abortions each year, a United Nations agency today launched a photographic contest as part of its efforts to highlight the importance of sexual and reproductive health.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) is inviting photographers from around the world, both amateur and professional, to submit images that capture four key stages in the “River of Life” – as the exhibition is called – Love, Life, Illness and Death.

“Cultural and social taboos often obscure the central role reproductive and sexual health plays in all our lives as individuals, couples or families,” the Geneva-based agency said. “WHO is challenging photographers to bring to life success stories in sexual and reproductive health and also to zoom in on the glaring inequities where we, as a global community, must do better.”

Underscoring the challenges the international community faces in raising public awareness of the importance of sexual and reproductive health, the agency declared: “Too many people, particularly in developing countries, suffer from persistently high rates of maternal deaths, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion.”

WHO noted that every year, 80 million women have unintended or unwanted pregnancies.

The contest, closing on 13 April, will be judged by a panel of experts. The winning photographs will be displayed at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2004 and used in a WHO campaign on sexual and reproductive health.

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.