Arts, AMR and Global Health: Getting Creative with Superbugs

Written by Jessica Mitchell.

The University of Leeds and HERD international are in the final stages of planning a 3-day workshop, organised in partnership with Changing the Story, which will investigate the scope of community engagement methods to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  This June policymakers, researchers, and practitioners will congregate in Kathmandu, Nepal, to discuss their approaches to dealing with antimicrobial resistance and other global health issues.  We want to share best practice, and develop action plans to increase the visibility of creative methods in global health policy, practice, and research.

Antimicrobial resistance is a major global challenge affecting people, animals, and the environment.  It occurs when bacteria and other microbes become resistant to the drugs designed to kill them, meaning common infections become much more dangerous and difficult to treat.  Global misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs mean antimicrobial resistance is increasing; it is already estimated to cause 700 000 global deaths per year. Despite this, public understanding of antimicrobial resistance is generally low, so it is really time to get creative with superbugs and find new ways to tackle this pressing health challenge.  This event will champion the use of community engagement methods, developing relationships between researchers and local people, meaning important information can be shared and acted upon in a meaningful way.

Our Nepal event will bring together experts from public health to agriculture and participatory research to graphic design.  It promises to be an exciting showcase of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research but also a highly practical event.  We will develop action plans to inform antimicrobial resistance policy in Nepal specifically, plus broader policy briefs to advocate the use of community engagement as a global health tool.  We will collate tried-and-tested creative methodologies into briefing papers to guide future research, and create action plans to address gaps in current antimicrobial resistance knowledge.  We look forward to sharing future developments in the coming weeks, watch this space!

This event is funded by two Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) projects: ‘A Global Approach to Community-Level Interventions for Preventing and Controlling Antimicrobial Resistance’ and ‘Arts and Humanities for Global Development, as well as The University of Leeds. Keep up to date by following @CE4AMR and the hashtag #CE4AMR19.