Not all heros wear capes
Superbugs are a big problem in India, with drug-resistant infections killing more people there than anywhere else in the world. Among the most vulnerable are infants, with an estimated 58,000 dying every year. The reasons for the high levels of resistance are complex, but are likely to include environmental pollution from antibiotic manufacturing, and over-the-counter sales of antibiotics from community pharmacies.
Thankfully, there is hope...
SaS is led by three scientist turned science communication/Engagement professionals Dr Ponnari Gottipati, Dr Sarah Iqbal and Dr Somdatta Karak. The team provide various formats of free workshops that focus on the scientific concepts linked to microbes, infections, antibiotics and resistance through games and activities – before encouraging participants to reflect on antibiotic use in their own families and communities.
Once equipped with knowledge and understanding, students are encouraged to design and make their own art work, through different mediums, most popular being the comic books, a process Ponnari says can be life-changing:
How you can help
While the team are doing a great job, COVID has made physical workshops difficult to run. That’s why they’re looking for help to:
- Create a suite of digital resources based on their workshops, enabling children to keep learning about superbugs even if they can’t physically attend a session
- Develop and promote their website, so it can be a resource hub for children across India
- Undertake an external evaluation of existing resources to ensure they’re of a high standard
- Fund a paid member of staff. Superheroes against Superbugs is staffed by volunteers currently, but they’re seeking funding so they can employ a full-time member of staff to help them take the project to the next level.