Archives of WHO

Documents of the month (2009)

Document of the month: June 2009

"Tokyo, the world's largest city", Japan, 1960.
In 1960, the population of Tokyo surpassed that of New York City, making it the largest city in the world. Paul Almasy travelled to Tokyo to photograph health services in the context of urbanization. His report covered health inspections in the market, prostitution, water supply, health centres and health education campaigns. The report appeared in World Health in 1961.
According to Dr. Ryotaro Azuma, a former member of WHO's Executive Board, problem No. 1 in Tokyo at present is traffic (1,126 traffic deaths and 61,000 wounded in 1959). To bring the problem home to the road user, the number of fatal accidents and the number of wounded that occured during the previous day are posted at Police Headquarters and in front of every police station throughout the town.

Japanese police station, Tokyo, 1960
WHO/Paul Almasy

Additional image related to the online exhibition "Picturing health: 35 years of photojournalism at WHO"

Paul Almasy's page