Archives of WHO

Documents of the month (2009)

Document of the month: July 2009

"A smiling doctor came to Manila", Philippines, 1959.
For this photo report, Eric Schwab covered the work of Dr Manuel Escudero to transform and revive mental health treatment in the Philippines. The photo report was published in the World Health magazine, May-June 1959 issue.
Under Dr Escudero's guidance the country's one hospital for the mentally ill, housing 4300 patients instead of the 1000 for which it was built, is being transformed into a place for treatment and cure where anyone can go for advice and assistance. The iron bars and grills within the patio compound were removed; games and athletic contests were organized; music was heard for the first time in the hospital at daily concerts given by a band of talented patients [...].
Our photo shows part of the courtyard of the women's pavilion where there are still iron bars.

Patients in a hospital for the mentally ill, Philippines, 1959
WHO/Eric Schwab

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

Eric Schwab's page