Orkney girl guides join battle to protect antibiotics

Girl guides badge for antibiotic awareness week

Girlguiding Orkney has joined the fight against antibiotic resistance with the help of an enterprising SAPG member. 

Catriona Innes, Lead Clinical Pharmacist and SAPG rep for NHS Orkney, came up with the idea for a challenge badge to help her Guide group learn more about antibiotic resistance. Now girls age 5 to 18 will be taking up the challenge to not only find out more about the issue but also to help raise awareness  in their communities, earning themselves an exclusive badge featuring SAPG's Bacteria Bob. 

Catriona says she hopes it will give girls the chance to learn more about how they can do their part to help tackle antibiotic resistance, ensuring that vital, life-saving medicines continue to be effective when people need them most.

She said:

“Trying new experiences and taking on new challenges is what Girlguiding is all about so I thought this was a great opportunity to get the girls involved. This challenge has been designed to help raise awareness of what this means and why it’s important to each and every one of us, no matter what our age. It’s a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean learning about it can’t be fun and girls will have the chance to try loads of hands-on activities with glitter, ‘snot’ and slime!”

A challenge pack, created by Catriona using resources from the e-bug website, features five sections: meet the microbe, spreading bugs, antibiotics & antibiotic resistance, become an Antibiotic Guardian and sepsis. To gain the badge, girls will need to have carried out a demonstration and complete at least one activity from each section. Among the activities are measuring how far a sneeze can travel using a “snot gun”, checking how effective hand washing is at preventing the spread of germs using a UV light box and raising money to “twin” a toilet in a developing country and help improve hygiene.

Catriona also hopes the girls will be able to increase the number of Antibiotic Guardians on Orkney by getting them and their families to agree to do one thing to help preserve antibiotics and signing the Antibiotic Guardian pledge.

Dr Jacqueline Sneddon, SAPG Project Lead, said:

“Antibiotic resistance is everybody’s problem, and it’s never too soon to learn how we can play our part in protecting these medicines for future generations.”

“Hopefully lots of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers will choose to take up this challenge and get to wear the Bacteria Bob badge on their uniforms.”

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