Travelling exhibition to create public awareness on anti-microbial resistance

Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, today launched a touring exhibition to help address the lack of public awareness and understanding about the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in the world.

The exhibition, titled “SUPERBUGS: The End of Antibiotics?” is divided into three parts: microscopic, human and global sections. The `microscopic’ section explores the hidden world of bacteria. Humankind shares the world with millions of species of bacteria. Many of them are harmless and some are even beneficial to our health. However, when they gain access to the wrong parts of our bodies and grow rapidly, they can cause harmful infections. Humanity relies on antibiotics to treat them.

However, they are losing their power and a number of ‘superbugs’ have emerged. The exhibition offers a glimpse of the development.

The second part of the exhibition, the `human’ section, showcases several stories, specifically from India, of how people are reaching out to combat antibacterial resistance: all sections of society from doctors and nurses to scientists and even patients need to work in tandem to cope with the problem. Many new innovations are already stopping the superbugs in their tracks and more need to be on the way.

The third, `global’, section, narrates the efforts being taken at international level to deal with the superbugs. Researchers are crossing continents in search of new antibiotics and a global community is coming together to tackle them on an unprecedented scale.

The travelling exhibition itself is a collaborative effort between India’s National Council for Science Museums and United Kingdom’s Science Museum Group. It is supported by Wellcome Trust, a London-based research charity.

It has started its journey from the National Science Centre here. It will stay here until November 17. It will then move to Mumbai, where it will camp at Nehru Science Centre from December 18 to February 16, 2020, followed by a stay in Bengaluru at Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum from March 20 to May 17 and in Kolkatta at Science City from June 19 to August 30. It will be then taken to 21 other science centres in different parts of the country. A mobile version will also be taken to villages to create greater public awareness.

As part of the exhibition, the organizers would also hold a series of programmes for the visitors including panel discussions, popular lectures, `nukkad natak’ street plays, quiz, and poster contests.

Inaugurating the exhibition, Dr. Harsh Vardhan hoped that it would help spread knowledge about antibacterial resistance among the lay public. He said “The issue of superbug is a highly complex problem and every section of society has a role to play in solving it”.

Union Minister for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr. Renu Swarup, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Balram Bhargava, and Deputy British High Commissioner, Ms. Jan Thomson, among others who participated in the inaugural function. (India Science Wire)

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