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Bringing Public Health to Life: Winners of CDC’s 9th Annual Public Health in Action Photo Contest

Categories: Disease Detectives, Emergency Preparedness & Response, Global Health Threats, Innovative Labs, Public Health Partners, State & Local Success, U.S. Disease Outbreaks

1. The Hajj and Disease Surveillance by John P. Abellera: This photo was taken in Mina, Saudi Arabia on the first day of the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hajj attracts more than 3 million Muslims from over 140 countries and poses serious disease outbreak concerns. The CDC Office of Global Health was invited by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to provide epidemiologic and technical assistance to KSA’s Ministry of Health in the use of mobile technology and data analysis to enhance disease surveillance.

In anticipation of National Public Health Week (April 1-7, 2013), CDC unveiled the winners of its Ninth Annual Public Health in Action Photo Contest. The 11 winners capture how CDC works around-the-clock to protect people at home and abroad from health and safety threats.  Take a minute to look at the winning photos, read their captions, and see public health come to life. 

2. Polio Immunizations in the DRC by Mary Alleman: “Let’s protect our children, vaccination campaigns in DRC,” reads the English translation of the man’s shirt. This photo was taken during the launch of a Sub-national Immunization Day (SNID) for polio in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The man was an administrative official for the Kinshasa Province and attended the event to show the administration’s support of the initiative.

3. "I’m so proud – See my finger!” by Kathie Fazekas: After receiving a dose of polio vaccine, children in Sierra Leone have their left pinkie finger marked with a purple indelible marker. As an independent verification team canvassed the village to verify vaccinations, these children were so excited to have received the vaccine that they proudly showed off their marked fingers.

4. Hand Washing to Stay Healthy by Caitlin Worrell: In this photo, three children enthusiastically show off their hand- washing technique outside of a latrine in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Though many residents in Kibera have limited access to municipal water and sewage services, putting them at risk for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)–related diseases, many make hand hygiene a priority in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ward off illness.

5. Behind the Scenes of the PHIL by Debora Cartagena: Debora Cartagena, an inspector in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, took this photo of herself preparing biosafety equipment before photographing it for the Public Health Image Library (PHIL). Cartagena has supplied the PHIL with dozens of much needed images showcasing biosafety, biosecurity, healthy eating, and medical equipment.

6. Namibia’s National Immunization Week by Michael L. Washington: As his mother holds him close, this child gets his arm measured to determine if his growth is normal. This was a typical procedure during National Immunization Week for polio in July 2011 in Ondunu, Namibia.

7. Indigenous Women Seek Preventive Care by Analía Romina Stormo: An indigenous woman is shown here entering the Women’s Hospital in La Paz, Bolivia where CDC is conducting a demonstration project to increase cervical cancer screening capacity. The photo depicts the contrast between the indigenous women seeking care and the non-indigenous, Westernized male medical students who often provide the services.

8. Flu Investigation in Bangladesh by Zhunan Li: This photo of locals shopping and working in a market in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, was taken during a 2012 influenza investigation. Experts were evaluating influenza subtypes H5N1 and pH1N1 in connection with poultry work in the community.

9. New NIOSH LED Cap Lamp by Chad Hutson: The new LED cap lamp featured in this photo was developed by researchers at the NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research. It was named a "Secretary’s Pick" winner in the HHSinnovates Program. The lamp’s improved illumination will help reduce mining accidents from trips, falls, and machinery while also saving energy.

10. Strategic National Stockpile Exercise by Wes McDermott: Pictured here arriving at the District of Columbia’s primary warehouse is the Strategic National Stockpile’s “Eagle Pack,” a shipment of simulated medical countermeasures for use in a public health emergency. Its arrival kicked off the largest regional mass dispensing exercise ever conducted in the Extended National Capitol Region. The scenario for the 2012 exercise was the intentional release of anthrax spores by terrorists.

11. Horn of Africa Famine Response by Lina Nerlander: This photo was taken during Lina Nerlander’s deployment to Turkana, Northern Kenya where her team was evaluating the effect of the UN World Food Program’s Blanket Supplementary Feeding intervention. Children were weighed and measured during consecutive food distributions over several months, and caregivers were interviewed about the health of the child and family situation.

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