Archives of WHO

Picturing health: 35 years of photojournalism at WHO

Apprentices in a workshop in Likachov Factory near Moscow
WHO/Monique Jacot

This exhibit offers a selection of photostories created by photographers from the 1950s to the 1980s.
The images illustrate health programmes established by governments and by WHO and show the work done in various health-related professions by people from all parts of the world.
The pictures presented in the photo galleries come from the files of the WHO "Photographic Archives, Sub-fonds Photographers" and they are accompanied by their original captions.

About the collection

Since its very beginnings, WHO has recognized the power of photographs to communicate – a power that transcends barriers of language, distance and time. Photography was employed early on as a way to inform the public of new developments in healthcare and medical technologies, to give a face to initiatives and projects that might otherwise seem far away, and to increase understanding of global health concerns. Utilizing some of the most renowned photojournalists of the post-war era, the Organization commissioned photographs that were as aesthetically powerful as they were informative, documenting health conditions around the globe. [...]



  • Where to look?
    Distinction between the library collections, the archives and current records.
  • Research subjects
    Thematic research linked to archival fonds and collections.
  • Library
    Link to the WHO Library and Information Networks for Knowledge.

Key WHO Information

Director-General and senior management

Governance of WHO
WHO Constitution, Executive Board and World Health Assembly

Media centre
News, events, fact sheets, multimedia and contacts

International travel and health
Publication on travel risks, precautions and vaccination requirements

World Health Report
Annual report on global public health and key statistics