Images of health and disability

24 August 2005

A young man, who has been affected by polio, enjoying the beach in Benguela, Angola.
WHO/Bernard Franck
A young man, who has been affected by polio, enjoying the beach in Benguela, Angola.

This striking photo gallery shows how people with different disabilities and health conditions live and work. The photographs make us challenge the very meaning of health. They are a reminder that many people experience some degree of disability at some point in their life.

WHO invited amateur and professional photographers around the world to take part in an international photographic contest with the theme "images of health and disability," and a special focus on disability and work. The contest was organized to demonstrate the implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), which describes health conditions and how people live with them.

The 33 winning photographs in this gallery are a small fraction of the more than one thousand images received.

Health and disability photo gallery

Many people at some time experience some sort of limitation in their functioning due to a health condition. The number of people experiencing disability is increasing due to the rise in chronic diseases, injuries, car crashes, falls, violence and other causes such as ageing. Most people in this situation live in poor conditions without access to basic needs, including rehabilitation services. To improve their lives, WHO is working to:

  • assist countries in developing policies on disability which include community involvement and national rehabilitation programmes;
  • better assess and recognize different health conditions using the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health;
  • ensure early identification and treatment of those with disabilities, including the provision of assistive devices and environmental modifications;
  • ensure equal opportunities and promotion of human rights for people with disabilities, especially those who are poor.

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These photographs may not be reproduced or distributed without permission. For permission, please contact: kostanjsekn@who.int

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