Raising awareness of antibiotic resistance with children and young people – Part 3

Blog written by Jenny Preston

This is the third and final post in a series of a project to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance to audiences of children and young people.  In part 1 we discussed the increased risk of antibiotic resistance, which poses one of the greatest global public health threats of our time. Antibiotics that were once life-saving are becoming of limited use, with common infections and minor injuries potentially returning as a major public health threat.  Raising awareness of these issues with the public and in this case children and young people is very much needed.  In part 2 we highlighted how children and young people had begun the process of learning about antibiotic resistance to inform the writing of a play to be performed to audiences of primary and secondary school children in Liverpool.

To recap, the purpose of this project was to:

  • co-produce and perform a play with young people to teach other young people about antibiotic resistance.
  • co-create child-friendly education resources for children, young people, families, and teachers about antibiotic resistance.
  • assess children and young people’s understanding of antibiotic resistance using the fora of drama

Summary of findings:

  • Two live performances of the play were conducted to school aged children and young people
  • 400 children and young people took part in the project overall(average age 11 years old)
  • All resources (video, survey’s, educational handouts) made available to schools and anyone working with young people. Click here for the links to resources
  • Feedback from children and young people was extremely positive, as the following word cloud indicates

Using drama as a means to engage children and young people about health issues

This young-person led project illustrates that using drama as a means of increasing knowledge and sharing information about health issues with children and young people has many advantages, including: making the topic more relevant to children’s lives; it generated a conversation and made children consider their own self-management of healthcare for maybe the first time, and despite the serious nature of the issue the performance included take-home messages that was delivered in a fun and informative manner.

What did it mean for the young people involved in the project:

“I felt like I was important and that all of our ideas were took on board and helped write the script. I felt proud to be a part of it all”

“I really enjoyed watching the play come to life and gave suggestions to change bits which was included in the final play”

“I really liked the writing workshop at Alder Hey, we got to meet other people from different groups and I felt really important sitting with the Professional Doctors.”

The project has now ended and the team are exploring other involvement and engagement activities with children and young people.  For a full report about the project click here.

 

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