New Delhi: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel jointly inaugurated the exhibition ‘Superbugs: The End of Antibiotics?’ today at National Science Centre, New Delhi. 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.
Union Minister of Health Dr Harsh Vardhan said that it is a matter of great pleasure that a large number of children have gathered in today’s program. Many times children are able to accomplish big things if they are determined. During the polio campaign, children contributed to making the campaign a success by creating ‘polio Sainik’. He added that he actively practised as a doctor for almost 25 years but apart from two-three antibiotics he has never prescribed any antibiotics. So the practitioners of a medical professional should also exercise caution in this regard.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Patel said that the way the National Council of Science Museums has designed planned & arranged this exhibition is very effective. He added that antibiotic has reduced our immunity, which has become a serious problem. He further stated that it is our duty to create awareness among the future generation about the limited use of antibiotics. He highlighted the importance of social media to create awareness for the masses. He reiterated the Prime Minister’s view that we should avoid using too many antibiotics for quick recovery. The Minister further added that I assure you that the Ministry is ready to help in every way and appealed to everyone to cooperate in making more people aware of this exhibition.
The exhibition has been organised by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) in collaboration with the Science Museum, Group, London, Wellcome (UK) and supported by ICMR.
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 touch screen 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 the problem.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri A. D. Choudhury, Director General, NCSM, 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.
The exhibition is supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the British Council, India. For details about the exhibition, please visit the website www.superbugs.in