Thursday, January 26, 2006

Long Form Caption Example

See previous post on writing strong captions just using the facts. Here is an example of a long form caption I wrote for my project on malaria to inform what would be an otherwise mundane photo.

The nurse on the women’s ward at Amana Hospital stops a minute to answer a visitor’s questions. She turns to the doctor for confirmation. “ Almost sixty percent of the beds in this ward are filled with women with severe malaria.” Dr. Bashiri nods in agreement. He adds, “ Indeed, malaria is the number one killer here, especially now that resistance is developing to treatment with SP drugs. “

In Tanzania death by malaria has increased from 18% in the 1980’s to 37% in the 1990’s. The groups most vulnerable to malaria are children under the age of five and pregnant mothers. 20% of the population of Tanzania is under age 5. Ward One in Dar es Salaam’s Amana hospital is perhaps the epicenter of this Fever Zone. Here in a clean but over-crowded ward for children those sick with malaria often share beds. Their mothers feed their fitful children and hold them close while mopping their brow. Some children’s eyes roll backward while others stare listlessly into the distance. Plasmodiom falciprium is the predominate malaria parasite in Dar es Salaam where hot and humid weather proves an incubator .

Less than half the population of Tanzania has access to safe and clean water. Diarrhea and other illness lower immunity in children, leaving them open to malaria infection. Photo caption by Stephenie Hollyman

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