World Health Day

WHD 2008: photos for download

The following photographs may be downloaded and used in publications and events related to World Health Day 2008, provided credit is given appropriately as displayed with photos on this page.


Two women near trees uprooted by  Hurricane Noel in Dominican Republic.

Tropical storm Noel caused flooding in 80% of Dominican Republic in October 2007. The floods caused the collapse of the water supply system and blocked access to the southern region of the country hence weakening an already challenged health system.


Banana plantation destroyed in Hurricane Mitch in Honduras.
IFRC/Nigel Dickinson

This large area of banana plantation was wiped out in Honduras when Hurricane Mitch struck the region in 1998. The hurricane - which also hit Nicaragua - killed more than 17 000 people and left three million homeless. The damages were estimated at US$ 3000 million.


A traffic policeman with a mask controlling traffic in India.
LHIL/Sudipto Das

A traffic policeman wears a mask to help protect himself from air pollution at a busy crossing in Kolkata, India. In 2002, more than 120 000 people died in India from diseases exacerbated by air pollution. Changing to more sustainable transport systems and cleaner fuels could simultaneously cut greenhouse gas emissions and deaths from air pollution.


A woman with her child sitting next to a bednet in Niger.
IFRC/John Haskew

Malaria protection has been going on in Niger. Progress is now being made against malaria, but studies indicate that by 2030, rising temperatures and changes in water accumulation due to climate change may increase the African population at risk of this disease by 90 million.

A health worker talking to villagers in Niger.
WHO/Marko Kokic

During severe food shortage, in part attributed to a rise in temperatures, WHO supports national initiatives in collecting health information from households, as seen in this photo from Niger. This contributes to disease surveillance, which is already an essential function and even more critical in conditions of climate change.

A woman holding some grains in her hand in Niger.
WHO/Marko Kokic

Rise in temperature and more variable precipitation add to the already severe drought conditions, such as in Niger. Water and food scarcity have big impacts on the health of already vulnerable communities.


A girl fetching water from a river in Pakistan.
WHO/Christopher Black

People forced to use one water source for all daily chores - like this girl in Pakistan - face increasing risks of gastrointestinal infections and other waterborne diseases. Together these diseases kill around 2.2 million people globally each year, mostly children in developing countries. Potential population displacement resulting from an increase in frequency and severity of climate sensitive events would add to this number.

A street in Pakistan's Karachi city.
WHO/Chris de Bode

Cities in developing countries like Pakistan are exposed to a combination of health risks which are likely to be increased by different aspects of climate change. For example, heat waves and urban air pollution can lead to exacerbation of cardiac and respiratory diseases. Rates of infectious diseases such as dengue and diarrhoea may also rise.


A man rescuing a calf from a flooded field in Uganda.
Danish Red Cross/Jakob Dall

The recent flooding in Uganda is a disaster of great dimensions. It destroyed 40% of the country's road network and caused widespread crop failure. In a country where 40% of the population is not using proper water sources, flooding increases the risk of diseases such as malaria and cholera.