Children drawing pictures against antimicrobial resistance in Ghana

Children drawing pictures against antimicrobial resistance in Ghana

Author: Bernard Appiah – Department of Public Health, Falk College, Syracuse University, Ghana

Cecil Jones Abban – Centre for Science and Health Communication, Ghana
David Anum – Centre for Science and Health Communication, Ghana
Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt – Ministry of Health, Ghana

Antimicrobial resistance — the phenomenon by which medicines used for fighting disease-causing microbes no longer become effective — is a threat to human life. Behavioral practices such as buying antibiotics without prescriptions and stopping treatment with antibiotics without advice of healthcare professionals are particularly common in the developing world. These practices contribute to the rising antimicrobial resistance.

In Ghana, an ongoing project involves schoolchildren (12-16 years old) using picture drawing as an engagement approach to depict the correct and incorrect use of medicines, and the consequences. The project is being implemented in collaboration with Ghana’s Ministry of Health, Ghana Education Service and a community-based, non-governmental organisation.

We have trained two science teachers to use picture drawing drawing to engage the students. The students will be asked to draw pictures about correct and incorrect use of antibiotics and the effects of these practices.

We will invite parents to attend a picture-drawing event in the school, during which students and parents could ask questions for science communicators and medical experts to provide them with answers. In addition, we will produce an animation in collaboration with five students with the top five pictures. We will show the animation during Parent-Teacher Association meeting as a second engagement approach with the parents.

We expect knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about misuse of antibiotics among the students and parents to change positively. The outcome of this project could contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance in Ghana.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Idea in progress
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice