News and Opinions  –  2018

ReAct Latin America: 3 lighlights in 2018

2018-12-20

ReAct Latin America engages the whole community in the region - from politicians to children - and this work has been ongoing during 2018. The educational material "The Educational Saddlebag" was promoted via workshops in the region, the creative awareness raising activities during World Antibiotic Awareness week are pillars in the regional work and ReAct Latin America continues its work to change the narrative - that bacteria are essential for humans, animals and the world.

The microbial world with the eyes of the children

Children learning about the bacterial world via the educational material “the Educational Saddlebag” produced by ReAct Latin America. Photo: ReAct Latin America.

The educational material called the Educational Saddlebag, produced by ReAct Latin America is an innovative way of working to change behavior and raise awareness about antibiotic resistance. Thousands of children have found new insights about the microbial world and healthy relationships with bacteria.

In 2018 this project arranged several workshops and was presented in different settings. In Bolivia, a workshop was held with medical students to work as health promoters with children in their communities. In Cuenca, an international workshop with 30 teachers participating was arranged. In Argentina, two workshops were held, one with teachers in Mar de Plata and another with primary care doctors in Buenos Aires, both in Argentina. There is also an agreement with the Ecuadorian teachers’ organization to move forward with a continuous education platform.

The real encouragement comes from the voluntary work that people do, such as Noelia Carrapizo and Edwin Corrales, from Argentina and Bolivia respectively. They have taken the tools of the program and on their initiative ReAct Latin America has adapted the material for children between 5 and 8 years.

Support from general public and social organizations the pillar of the work

 

Body painting bacteria during World Antibiotic Awareness Week. One of ReAct Latin America’s many creative activities during the week. Photo: ReAct Latin America.

The support from the general public and social organizations is a fundamental pillar in ReAct Latin America’s work. Therefore, the focus during World Antibiotic Awareness Week was a media campaign to raise awareness and for the general public to become active in the debate on antibiotic resistance and to raise awareness about the use of antibiotics, especially in food production.

Several actions were developed in the region: artistic expressions, workshops, debates in the media, forums, etc. The highlight of the week was  that ReAct Latin America was recognized for its work when the Ministry of Health of Ecuador launched the National Strategy on AMR. This is undoubtedly an important step to strengthen the work of implementing the National Action Plans on AMR in the region.

Towards new relationships between humans and bacteria

Most bacteria are your friend, not your enemy. Illustration: ReAct Latin America.

Antibiotic resistance has long been described with the narrative that there is an ongoing war between humans and bacteria. However, this narrative doesn’t recognize the important contribution of bacteria to the health of our Mother Earth, animal health and human health.

Within this framework, ReAct Latin America has worked intensely on a document that collects the contributions of collaborators and allies – to recognize the importance of bacteria have for life on earth. This work is called ‘Towards a new relationship between human beings and bacteria’, to which several academics, artists, community leaders and social organizations have joined.