Waiting for Sunrise at the Golden Pagoda
Rollins School of Public Health
Worshippers arrive just before sunrise to welcome the new day at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). Myanmar is still a place of great inequity and inequality - with its regions generally having better health and access to care, while its states struggle after decades of turmoil and persecution. The disparities are evident walking the streets of Yangon. Malaria is endemic. The last cholera outbreak was in 2014 and HIV rates are some of the highest across Southeast Asia. While standing at the base of this pagoda, the photographer couldn’t help but think how this religious monument has helped worshippers get through life’s problems. It was completed in the 6th century and has served as a constant during all of the decades of turmoil.