- National Council of Science Museums (NCSM),Science Museum Group, London and Wellcome(UK) join hands to create awareness about antibiotic resistance across India
- ‘Superbugs’ kill up to 7,00,000 people a year, by 2050 that could rise to 10 million.
- The Exhibition is supported by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and will be on display till November 17, 2019.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India jointly inaugurated the exhibition ‘Superbugs: The End of Antibiotics?’ at National Science Centre, Delhi on September 6, 2019. The exhibition has been organised by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) in collaboration with Science Museum, Group, London, Wellcome(UK) and supported by ICMR. The Exhibition explores how society is responding to the enormous challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antibacterial resistance (ABR) in particular featuring scientific research from across the globe and personal stories of those waging war on Superbugs.
Bacteria, tiny organisms capable of causing disease are becoming resistant to our most powerful weapon against them, antibiotics and turning into Superbugs. Today antibiotic-resistant ‘Superbugs’ kill up to 7,00,000 people a year. By 2050 that could rise to 10 million.
The exhibition has three major sections: Microscopic, Human and Global. Microscopic Section explores the hidden world of bacteria. Be it their size or characteristics, evolution of superbugs or history of antibiotics; the exhibits of this section will take you on a journey in which you can zoom into the world of microbes, explore the touchscreen multimedia to understand how bacteria evolve into superbugs or flip a digital e-book to know the history of antibiotics.
On the other hand, Human Section showcases several stories, specifically from India, of how people are reaching out to combat the challenge of antibacterial resistance. When antibiotics stop working, lives are put at risk. People catch infections that can’t be treated. Hospitals find it difficult to keep the spread of bacteria under control. Farmers can’t treat their animals when they become ill. Our environment poses several risks for spreading ABR in human and animals as well. The section highlights how Doctors, Patients, Scientists, Researchers, Nurses, Campaigners, Pharmacist, Farmers all need to work in tandem to cope up with problem.
Bacteria are without borders and can travel further and faster around the world than we do. Moving through our bodies, food and water systems, Superbugs on a farm in one country can spread to hospitals on the other side of the planet. The Global Section explores the global initiatives in search of new antibiotics or alternate ways to combat the menace and the initiatives to create awareness on the issue.
“The purpose of the exhibition is to create awareness about Antibiotic Resistance and help develop public understanding of the issue through effective communication, education and training. After Delhi, the exhibition will travel to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata during the one year period and will be on display for two months at each venue. It is expected that the exhibition will reach more than one million people during the period” – said Shri A. D. Choudhury, Director General, NCSM.
Sir Ian Blatchford, Director, Science Museum Group, said: “Antibiotics have not only added twenty years onto life expectancy globally, but they have also opened up the potential of complex surgeries, chemotherapy, and protective care for our most vulnerable people. Antibiotic resistance is a real threat to human health, today and for future generations. It is only through international cooperation that lasting change can be made, which is part of why it was so important for us to connect with the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) to start a global conversation about this pressing issue.”
“Popular Science Lecture, Poster Making Contest, Elocution Contest, Nukkad Natak, Open House Quiz, Panel Discussion etc. are also being organised as side events of the exhibition” –added Shri S. Kumar, Director (Hqrs), NCSM.
An Audio Guide App has been developed which could be downloaded while visiting the exhibition from the URL 192.168.0.2. Through this audio guide the visitor can listen to the information about the exhibits displayed in the exhibition.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Prof. Vinod K. Paul, Member, NITI Ayog, Shri Arun Goel, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, Prof. Balram Bhargava, Secretary, DHR & DG, ICMR, Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, Ms. Jan Thompson, Deputy British High Commissioner to India, Mr. Jonathan Newby, MD, Science Museum Group, Sheldon Paquin, Curator with the Science Museum Group, London.
Apart from this an AMR Diagnostics Roundtable Seminar was also organised in the morning where Experts in the field discussed- What role could new rapid diagnostic tests play in improving the use of antibiotics?, Need for quick, rapid point of care test to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in primary care settings etc. Dr. Sundeep Sarin, Senior Advisor, Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of Indiadelivered Keynote Address on ‘Indian Strategy to address the battle against resistance and efforts being taken to boost the development and implementation of rapid diagnostics test. Longitude Prize entries from UK and India presented and discussed about their entries. Some eminent persons participated in this seminar were- Till Bachmann, Edinburg Medical School, University of Edinburg, Dr Kamini Walia, Program Officer, AMR, ICMR, Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Dept. of Biotechnology. Govt. of India.
The exhibition is supported by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and British Council, India. For Details about the exhibition, please visit the website www.superbugs.in
About the Organisers:
National Council of Science Museums
National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), a premiere institution in the field of science communication, is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. Primarily engaged in popularizing science and technology through a network of 25 science centres and Mobile Science Exhibition (MSE) units that visit rural schools, NCSM also organizes a plethora of educational activities round the year for public in general and the student community in particular. NCSM with its Headquarters in Kolkata administers and manages 25 science museums/centres spread across the country and is the world’s largest network of science centres and museums that functions under a single administrative umbrella with an annual reach to about 15 million people. For details, please visit https://ncsm.gov.in/
Science Museum Group
The Science Museum Group (SMG) is one of the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. These museums share the stories of innovations and people that shape our world and transform our future, constantly reinterpreting their diverse collections. Each year, these museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while their touring exhibitions bring SMG’s creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe. More information can be found at https:// group.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. It is a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. It supports scientists and researchers, takes on big problems, fuels imaginations and sparks debates. More information can be found at www.wellcome.ac.uk
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies that is nurturing the biomedical research and innovation in India. In line with the national health priorities, ICMR is generating scientific evidence in different disciplines that are indispensable for delivering quality health care at all levels. ICMR encourages capacity building for young researchers, scientists, medical and allied health professionals across the country. Council is committed to create a vibrant platform to tackle national and regional health problems through its progressive undertakings and partnerships. To address the AMR challenge, ICMR through its AMR Research Initiative is working with different stakeholders and partners to strengthen the evidence, improve diagnosis and rationalize antibiotics use for treatment of drug resistant infections.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It creates friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. It does this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries it works with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.