USC Global Health Film & Photo Contest 2013

Thank you to everyone who submitted to this year’s USC Global Health Film & Photo Contest! The judges had a tough time picking the top submissions, but we are happy to congratulate the following for winning first place:

1st Place Photo:

“Brushing Teeth”by Natalia Sejbuk

September, 2008
Kolkata, India
An Indian girl living in the slums of Kolkata, India brushes her teeth with her fingers in the public sinks of Sealdah Railway Station. The organization I volunteered for that year provided welfare to children living under precarious conditions. I was the one that gave this little girl a tube of toothpaste and showed her how she should brush her teeth. She had so much fun doing it, that she asked if she could do it again. (1 in 6 Indian city dwellers live in unsanitary conditions unfit for human habitation, according to the 2011 India Census).

1st Place Video:

“Who is Responsible for the Obesity Epidemic?” by Hadley Greswold

Interviews at Hermosa Beach reveal who people believe should take responsibility for the obesity epidemic in the US – the individual, government, or industry.

Other Submissions:

On Aging” by Bianca Hernandez

The importance of wellness and implications into late-adulthood.

“Ambulance Boat” by Otana Jakpor
January 8, 2013
Lagos, Nigeria
While going with my cousin to look at potential sources of scrap metal, I came across a couple broken down “ambulance boats” like this one. I don’t know the full story behind these particular boats, and I can’t presume to know why they are out of service and falling apart. That said, they reminded me of the importance of sustainability in global health interventions. Even when global health projects are innovative and effective in the short-term, their impacts are likely to be extremely limited unless they are sustainable.
“Who Pays The Price for ‘Development'” by Caroline Jensen
October 2011
Pokotane, Senegal
While dam development was intended to provide benefits for agriculture in Africa and the Middle East, it has caused an unprecedented explosion of schistosomiasis over the past several decades. The snail-vector for the disease is provided with the perfect freshwater environment with dam development. Those most at risk are the women and children who spend the most time in the water – washing their clothing, collecting water, or for many of the children, cooling off with a swim. 200 million people are newly infected each year, with over 700 million more at risk for infection. Lack of universal access to treatment and failure to establish effective sanitation allow this problem to persist and compromise the quality of life for millions. This photo illustrates how women and children put themselves at risk everyday by going into the water.
“Mask” by Jane Chung
June 2011
Seoul, South Korea
My grandmother the day she was diagnosed with gastric cancer. To some, the mask is a symbol of poor air quality or poor health, and can exacerbate stigmas against the ill. But whatever the perception, the mask can act as a tool to heighten awareness of global health issues. (Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year. – WHO)
“The Power of Tradition” by Trisa Taro
June 2010
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
In rural South Africa, over 60% of people seek health advice and treatment from local traditional healers before visiting a medical doctor. Many initiatives have sought to train traditional healers and utilize them as a resource and point-of-contact for rural communities, however, concerns remain that these initiatives will only work to further “legitimize” the role of traditional healers in the eyes of the community and deter formal medical treatment even more, as has been seen with the use of traditional birth attendants in other parts of Africa.
“Community Meeting” by Ruby Langeslay
March 2011
Cuje, Nicaragua
For seven years, the student organization MANOS ( has been working in rural northwestern Nicaragua providing a free clinic while building a partnership with the residents of Cuje to address underlying health problems. Because all of Cuje extends over a vast set of mountains, the group decided to begin with a pilot project in the sub-sector of Chaguite. After years of social network and GIS research as well as resident interviews about their health concerns, the students presented the community with a map of the Chaguite sector outlining not just residences, but locations of resources, particularly water. Today, MANOS students and Chaguite residents are working on larger projects to address water, nutrition, and the environment, among other concerns.
“I am Not a Statistic” by Sasha Horn
July 28, 2010
Qujing, China 
Our Operation Smile medical team repaired the cleft lips, palates, and immobile scar tissue of 98 patients that week. He was number 99. He arrived the morning our equipment was packed up–too late to receive surgery. Statistics don’t always tell the full story of a success; they don’t measure the love of a mother for a child.
“I’d Like to Buy the World A Coke” by Isabella Kim
February 2012
Karatu, Tanzania 
“I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” is the popular 1971 slogan that kept its’ promise as Coca-Cola is an easily accessible food product in even rural areas of developing countries with high food insecurity. Global dietary changes that are rich in salt, saturated fats, and bad carbohydrates, like fast food and Coca-Cola, contribute to the one-quarter of the world’s adult population that currently have hypertension while future projections indicate an increase to 1.15 billion hypertensive patients by 2025 in developing countries.