Bangladesh’s Second Public Health Photo Contest

Bangladesh’s Second Public Health Photo Contest

(A Collaborative Effort of 29 Local, National, and International Organizations)

“The pioneering spirit should continue, not to conquer the planet or space... but rather to improve the quality of life.” - Bertrand Piccard

The second Public Health Photo Contest (PHPC2019) came to an end with a befitting manner to advocate for and promote Public Health in Bangladesh. Given the widespread acclaim of the event and overwhelming potential for photography, PHPC2019 was organized this year at a much larger scale. In 2019, hosted by Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) and Gono Bishwabidyalay (GB) of Bangladesh, we aimed for country-wide participation, in partnership with 27 local, national, and international organizations with the theme Explore public health through your hidden talent in photography! 

 

Last year (2018), GK and GB organized Bangladesh’s first-ever Public Health Photo Contest (PHPC2018) with the theme Explore public health and your hidden talent in photography! It capped in an award ceremony and exhibition on July 15, 2018, at the People’s Health Assembly (PHA) auditorium of GK. A hardcover photo book titled, Public Health: Through the Lens that compiled 20 winning and runner-up photos was also published, with the foreword by Professor Marie Diener-West, Chair of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA.

 

We were thrilled to receive a huge response this year. We embarked on our journey to host the second Public Health Photo Contest on June 18, 2019, at the National Press Club, Zahur Hossain Chowdhury Hall in Dhaka. During this event, we released the contest poster, logo, briefings on the rules and regulations, and objectives of the contest through a Meet the Press program and declared the formal commencement of PHPC20l9.

 

As the deadline for photo entry approached, the number of entries steadily grew, and we closed the round on September 9, 2019, having received a total of 1,185 entries - of which 1,131 qualified - from 482 unique contestants. After anonymization (coding each photo), a rigorous judging session was led by the Chief Judge Mr. Hasan Saifuddin Chandan, alongside 11 esteemed judges. Among them were three professional photographers, six public health professionals and/or physicians, and two identified as both. Initially, 20 photos were selected, with 10 winners and 10 runners-up. The process went through six steps of short-listing sessions with carefully read the titles, captions and judged the subject relevance with the contest theme of 1131 qualified entries. The convener of the contest, Dr. Md Zohirul Alam, a Gonoshasthaya Samaj Vittik Medical College (GSVMC) alumnus and MPH graduate from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, selected 10 additional photos for the convener’s choice category. The day-long judging session was held at Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital in Dhaka on September 17.

 

Among the notable events held this year, on September 21, 2019, Dr. David L. Parker, Senior Researcher at Health Partners Institute in the USA, a recipient of the Christopher Award, delivered a lecture titled, Child Labor and Public Health to the medical students and faculty of GSVMC at the PHA Auditorium, Gonoshasthaya Kendra. The Principal of GSVMC, Professor Dr. Farida Adib Khanum, the CEO of GK, Dr. Manzur Kadir Ahmed, and the Senior Director of Health and Training, Dr. A.K.M Rezaul Haque, were present among the attendees. Dr. Parker also led a photography workshop titled, Public Health and Photography, in which 26 pre-registered participants joined. All attendees were awarded certificates.

 

On September 23, 2019, the country’s second Public Health Photo Contest’s Award Ceremony and First Exhibition were held at the PHA Auditorium of Gonoshasthaya Kendra in Dhaka. GK CEO, Dr. Manzur Kadir Ahmed delivered the welcome speech at the beginning of the ceremony. The convener of this initiative, Dr. Md Zohirul Alam, presented a documentary highlighting the purpose, his inspiration, impact, and the history behind the Public Health Photo Contest titled, “Why a Public Health Photo Contest?” He summarized the proceedings of the contest from its beginning up to the present day. He expressed his appreciation to all the contestants for their participation and thanked them for sharing their perspectives on public health. He said, “I am thankful to all of you that have taken this contest as a ‘food for thoughts’ to raise health awareness.” He described the very lengthy and time-consuming procedure, explaining how each contestant must go through 33 steps to enter his/her photo for the contest, a procedure that the people of Bangladesh were not habituated to. He said, “I feel your hardship! The contest was tough and so we urge those who were not able to take part this year to keep pursuing what they believe in.”

 

Dr. Parker presented the keynote speech for the award ceremony. Among the special guests were Johns Hopkins University faculty, Halida Hanum Akhter, along with Professor Baizid Khoorshid Riaz, Director of the National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine, and Bangladesh Public Health Foundation Chairperson, Professor Sharmeen Yasmeen. These guests announced the 10 winners, 10 runners-up, and 10 convener’s choices awards accordingly. Professor Marie Diener-West, of Johns Hopkins University, sent her messages of congratulations through a pre-recorded video. All 30 winners were awarded prize bonds, certificates, crests, and replicas of the National Martyrs’ Memorial, and an assortment of books related to photography and public health.  

 

The Chief Judge of this contest and the first Bangladeshi FIAP gold medalist, Hasan Saifuddin Chandan, GK & GB Trustees, GK Executive Directors, Senior Directors & Directors, Deans of various departments, the Principal of GSVMC, teachers, students, officers, and employees of GK and GB, representatives from the partner organizations, and the general public all attended the ceremony. Other notable guests were Mr. Mohammad Ponir Hossain, the country’s first and only Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Mr. KM Asad, the first and only Bangladeshi photographer to have a photo selected for the cover of National Geographic Magazine, appearing in the August 2019 issue.

 

The award ceremony also acknowledged the contribution of Sayeeda Khanam, the country’s first female photographer, who is a 2019 awardee of the Ekushey Padak, Bangladesh’s second-highest civilian award, and presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Photography. Due to her old age, she couldn’t receive the award herself. The Vice-Chancellor of GB, Professor Dr. Laila Parveen Banu accepted the award on her behalf. Crests were given to esteemed guests. Representatives on behalf of the 30 winners and one volunteer shared their thoughts and experiences about the PHPC2019 with the audience.

The Vice-Chancellor of GB, Professor Dr. Laila Parveen Banu thanked all contestants, ceremony attendees, volunteers, and partners.

 

Dr. Parker opened the exhibition, which continued until midnight. Only the winning 30 photographs were chosen for the exhibition. The exhibition served as a closer look at our approach to see Bangladesh’s public health scenario through photography. The winners planted 30 trees on the PHA premises, which were gifted by one of our partner organizations. More than 70 registered volunteers supported the event to make it a success. Around 1,000 people attended the award ceremony and first exhibition.

After the first exhibition at the PHA auditorium, a day-long second exhibition was held at the GB campus on September 24. Two photography clubs, the Gono Bishwabidyalay Photographic Society (GBPS) and the GSVMC Photography Club were officially inaugurated. Students also attended a discussion session titled, Meet the Photographers where they were joined by three of the country’s renowned photographers.

 

The third exhibition of PHPC2019 was held October 25-26 at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, Banglamotor in Dhaka. The exhibition was open to all. Around 300 people from different aspects of society visited this two-day exhibition. Among them were Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Founder of the Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, Zafrullah Chowdhury, Founding Trustee of GK, Professor Abul Qasem Chowdhury, Trustee of GK, Md. Ghulam Mustafa Dulal, Executive Director of GK, and Professor Md. Sayedur Rahman, Chairman of Pharmacology at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

 

The fourth exhibition of PHPC2019 was held November 2-5 on the GSVMC hospital premises in Savar. Around 500 people attended, including medical doctors, paramedics, hospital staff, patients, and patient families and friends over the course of the four-day exhibition.

 

The fifth exhibition of PHPC2019 was held November 6-7 on the GB campus in Savar. Around 600 students and faculty from different departments visited.

The sixth exhibition of PHPC2019 was held on November 8, at the National Martyrs’ Memorial in Savar. More than 1,000 people attended.

An ancient Egyptian parable states, a single grain of sand becomes a desert in time, and yet a desert is made of grains of sand itself. Last year, the PHPC began with very small steps, but by its second year, it has grown nearly 1000%. This shows how this initiative is credibly creating its own space in the public health field of Bangladesh.

 

The convener of the PHPC2019 mentioned that, “we would like to thank our chief patron, Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury, the partner organizations, contestants, 30 winners, advisors, executive committee members, esteemed guests, international volunteers, journalists, public health activists, academics, photographers, exhibition attendees, faculty, students, and all the staff of GB and GK, and the dedicated team of volunteers, whose inspiration, support, hard work, dedication, guidance, participation, and feedback made PHPC2019 a possibility.”


Info About the Prizes

10 Winners’ Prizes

# Tk. 10,000/Prize Bond/Each winner

# A certificate

# A winner crest

# A copy of The Family of Man

# Selected books on public health

# A binding of selected published papers of global public health significance

# World-famous photography books

# A contest poster

# A winner chest badge

# A framed winning photo for each individual winner

# Autographed copy of the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

# A printed brief on the 2018 photo contest

# A miniature replica of the National Martyrs’ Memorial

# A blood pressure measuring machine

# A T-Shirt

# A key ring

# A logo endorsed mug

# A logo endorsed wall clock

# A complimentary copy of the photo book Public Health: Through the Lens (2018)

# A copy of the of the National Geographic Magazine (August 2019 issue) autographed by KM Asad

# One Tree

 

 

10 Runners-up Prizes

# Tk. 2,000/Prize Bond/Each runner-up

# A certificate

# A runner-up crest

# A copy of The Family of Man

# Selected books on public health

#  A binding of selected published papers of global public health significance

# World-famous photography books

# A contest poster

# A runner-up chest badge

# A framed winning photo for each individual winner

# Copy of the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

# A printed brief on the 2018 photo contest

# A miniature replica of the National Martyrs’ Memorial

# A T-Shirt

# A key ring

# A logo endorsed mug

# A logo endorsed wall clock

# A complimentary copy of the photo book Public Health: Through the Lens (2018)

# A copy of the of the National Geographic Magazine (August 2019 issue) autographed by KM Asad

# One Tree

 

 

10 Convener’s Choices Prizes

# A certificate

# Selected books on public health

# A binding of selected published papers of global public health significance

# World-famous photography books

# A contest poster

# A convener’s choice chest badge

# A framed winning photo for each individual winner

# Copy of the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

# A printed brief on the 2018 photo contest

# A miniature replica of the National Martyrs’ Memorial

# A T-Shirt

# A key ring

# A logo endorsed mug

# A logo endorsed wall clock

# A complimentary copy of the photo book Public Health: Through the Lens (2018)

# A copy of the of the National Geographic Magazine (August 2019 issue) autographed by KM Asad

# One Tree



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