Professional and amateur photographers from all over the world are invited to take part in the International Photo Contest on greener healthcare waste management, which will be held from April 30 to July 15, 2019. Participation of healthcare, environmental health workers, women and youth from developing countries is particularly welcomed.


To increase public awareness on the issues related to healthcare waste treatment and management (HCWM) through visual and artistic medium and

To promote best practices on HCWM along with non-incineration waste treatment and mercury-free technologies for greener healthcare practices.


To participate in the contest please fill out the online application form, attach your photo and submit until July 15, 2019. Participation in two categories of the contest (by submitting by one photo for each category) is allowed. By submitting a photo to the contest you also agree that the organizers can post the photo to social media and use the photo in promotional materials or for other purposes.


1. "Healthcare Waste Management for People and Planet";

  • Two finalists will be awarded on this category.
  • There will also be additional special nomination awards for photos depicting positive images for the following special categories (one for each):
    •    “Alternatives to healthcare waste burning/incineration”;
    •   “Mercury-free healthcare”;
    •   “HCWM for better infection prevention”;
    •   “Women and HCWM”.
  • Special nominations will be selected among photos submitted in Category 1.

2. "Greener healthcare I want to see in the future";

  • Two finalists will be awarded on this category.


Submit a photo that shows your awareness on healthcare waste issues such as what impact it has on environment, what innovations and practices are introduced to minimize it.

You may also wish to express a creative vision of healthcare you want to see in the future, to demonstrate positive changes you want to see on food chain/soil, fishes/water or breath/air. To get more ideas please visit "FAQ" section of the website.


Evaluation of photos will be conducted in two stages:

  • Initial stage - preliminary selection. If the number of photos received exceeds 30 photos, preliminary selection of photos will take place. Up to 30 photos (by 20 photos in Category 1 and 10 photos in Category 2) will be selected for the second stage.
  • Second stage - evaluation and selection of the winners by international Jury Team.The Jury Team, consisting of organizers and experts, representing different countries, will select the winners of the photo contest in each category. In total, there will be 4 winners (2 in each category) and additional 4 winners in special nominations.


In total, 8 prizes of $400 vouchers/cheques (or whatever is applicable).

Appreciation certificates for tbe best 30 photos.


  • Official launch of the photo contest: April 30, 2019
  • Submission of applications: April 30 - July 15, 2019
  • International jury voting: July 15 - July 22, 2019
  • Announcement of winners: July 22, 2019


Please, read carefully information about the International Photo Contest in available languages in "Download" section of the website.

Proceed by visiting online application form page, fill it out and send to the attention of the organizers.

If you have some questions, please refer to the "FAQ" section of the website.


Global Environment Facility financed United Nations Development Programme, World Health Organization and Health Care Without Harm supported project, “Reducing UPOPs and Mercury releases from the Health Sector in Africa”, implemented in Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia


Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and Ministry of Health, Madagascar.



Q. Who is eligible?
A. The International Photo Contest is for professional and amateur photographers from all over the world. Participation of healthcare workers, environmental health workers and especially women and youth from developing countries is particularly welcomed.

Q. Is there any fee for participation?
A. No, there is no fee for participation.

Q. Is it possible to submit printed photos?
A. No, only digital photos are accepted.

Q. Will submitted photos be returned?
A. No, submitted photos will not be returned.

Q. How will l know if my application was successful?
A. You will receive a notification upon completion of your application.

Q. What kind of photos are required?
A. Photos must correspond to the requirements set in the online application form.

Q. Can I submit digitally corrected photo?
A. Digital correction to make your photos more creative is allowed.

Q. When can I submit my online application form with photo?
A. You can submit your with application form between April 30 and and July 15, 2019. Please be informed that late applications will not be accepted.

Q. Can I submit a photo that has been submitted to another photo contest?
A. No, parallel submissions are not permitted. If you fail to comply, you will be disqualified.

Q. Can I send several photos?
A. You can send 2 photos only. In other words, you can participate with one photo in each of the category of the contest. More than 2 photos will not be accepted.

Q. What happens if I forget to fill out a field in the online application form?
A. The system will not let you submit your online application form. Only duly completed application forms together with photos can be submitted.

Q. Why I cannot see online application form in other languages?
A. The organizers try to cover as much languages as possible. However due to resource limitations it is only possible to provice several other language versions of the online application form.

Q. Can I submit my photo on a CD or other physical media?
A. No, online application with photos are accepted online only.


Q. What would you suggest concerning the photos to be submitted?
A. The following are suggested:

  • In order to have basic idea what to photograph, please read about the main themes of the contest.
  • See what other have done so far, what kind of photos were created on these themes.
  • Think what you want to tell through your photos and how to make them interesting and unique.
  • Think how you can attract attention of the people seeing it.

Q. What kind of photos to submit for the category of “Healthcare Waste Management for People and Planet”?
A. In general, it depends on your creative vision and what do you want to express through your photos. Some ideas are provided below:

  • A photo showing impact of HCW on natural environment.
  • A photo depicting innovative practices that can reduce HCW releases.
  • A photo demonstrating the signs of the pollution change in our food-chain/soil, fishes/water, breath/air;
  • A photo showing the impact of mercury use on the environment and health;
  • A photo showing different roles and risks associated to gender dimension in HCWM.

Q. What kind of photos to submit for the category of “Greener healthcare I want to see in the future”?
A. It indeed depends on your creativity. Below are some ideas, which you might consider:

  • A photo which shows improved healthcare waste management systems (e.g. draw flow of improved classification, segregation, storage, transport and disposal).
  • A photo which demonstrates positive changes we want to see on our food chain/soil, fishes/water, breath/air and the like.
  • A photo showing what you imagine for clean and green future environment in a creative way.

In general, the more creative the photo, the better!

Q. Is it important to provide a brief description/caption for a photo submitted?
A. Yes, because it will help us to understand what is taking place in the photograph. The jury will read your caption and the information provided will give additional context for your image. Please share the exact location the image was taken, describe the scene pictured and any identifiable people in less than 30 words.


Q. What is healthcare waste?
A. Healthcare waste refers to all waste generated by healthcare establishments and 10% to 25% of healthcare waste is potentially harmful to human health and environment. This includes infectious waste, sharps, expired pharmaceuticals, chemical products, and radioactive waste.

Q. Why is management of healthcare waste important?
A. Inadequate handling, disposal and reuse of infectious healthcare waste is significant, as such practices not only impact the health of medical staff, but also that of hospital patients, their visitors, surrounding community. It also impacts hospital and non-hospital staff and workers involved in the handling and treatment of infectious healthcare waste.

In developing countries, the generation of healthcare waste (HCW) is rapidly increasing. These countries face particular challenges in dealing with increasing HCW quantities, since HCW treatment technologies that meet international guidelines and fit local circumstances, are simply not available at market prices that facilities and governments can afford. As a result, countries most often opt for low technology incinerators, which result in significant releases of unintentional persistent organic pollutants (UPOPs), like dioxins and furans.

Long-term, low-level exposure of humans to dioxins and furans may lead to the impairment of the immune system, the impairment of the development of the nervous system, the endocrine system, the reproductive functions and several type of cancers. Such pollutants are persistent substances that do not readily break down in the environment, bio-accumulate in the food chain, and are able to travel long distances far away from the place where they were produced, they are considered a global threat to human and environmental health worldwide. For this reason, these substances are controlled under the Stockholm Convention on POPs.

Similarly, developing countries also face challenges in handling products and wastes containing Mercury, which is one of the world's most ubiquitous heavy metal neurotoxicants and has been an integral part of many medical devices such as thermometers and sphygmomanometers. When these devices break or leak with regularity, they add to the global burden of mercury in the environment and expose health care workers to the acute effects of the metal itself.

Exposure to elemental Mercury, Mercury in food, and Mercury vapors may pose significant health problems including kidney, heart and respiratory problems, tremors, skin rashes, vision or hearing problems, headaches, weakness, memory problems and emotional changes. Like POPs, Mercury remains in the environment for decades, it is transported long distances and is deposited in the air, water, sediments, soil and biota in various forms, also is incorporated by microorganisms and is concentrated up the food chain. It is because of these characteristics, Mercury is also regarded as a global pollutant. Considering the harmful effect of Mercury, manufacture, import and export, in other words, phase out of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers by 2020 are anticipated under the recently entered-into-force Minamata Convention on Mercury.


Q. Do I need to receive written permission from a person, who has been depicted on the photo?
A. No, written permission is not required. It suffices to have verbal consent of the person, who has been depicted on the photo. And it is a photographer’s responsibility to ensure that this permission has been granted. Organizers will not bear any responsibility concerning the photo, if it has been identified that a photographer did not get required permission from a person, who is depicted on the photo.


Concept and detailed information on the International Photo Contest (choose language and download):


Promotional Materials (Choose language and download):

Flyer, EN
Photo Album, EN

Additional Information (in English language):

Project Fact Sheet
Project Case Study
Sound Chemicals and Waste Management for Sustainable Development
Reducing Mercury Releases from healthcare sector in Africa
Demonstration of Technologies

For additional questions please contact us at:

questions@greenhealthcarewaste-photos.org or



We are pleased to announce the winners of the International Photo Contest. They are:

Author, Country: Md Amdad Hossain, Bangladesh

Category: HCWM for People and Planet

Author, Country: Tahina Malala Ramamaonjisoa, Madagascar

Category: HCWM for People and Planet

Author, Country: Soumyasikha Manna, India

Category: “Greener healthcare I want to see in the future”

Author, Country: Tejendra Thapa, Nepal

Category: Greener healthcare I want to see in the future

Author, Country: Anthony Into, Philippines

Special nomination: HCWM for better infection prevention/control

Author, Country: Mehmet Emir Vaizoglu, Turkey

Special nomination: Mercury-free healthcare

Author, Country: Kennedy Ekuanor, Ghana

Special nomination: Alternatives to healthcare waste burning/incineration

Author, Country: Sudip Maiti, India

Special nomination: Women and healthcare waste

Country: India

We also have pleasure to inform that 21 photos of other participants have been selected to become part of the photo exhibition and special photo album of the contest. To see all photos selected, please click on the following link: Photo album