Make way Batman and Spiderman - five new comic book superheroes with the unlikely names of Axon, Gastro, Skinderella, Pump and Chi are helping children around the world understand the complexities of multiple sclerosis - a condition which can baffle leading medical specialists.
The superhero characters are the brainchild of Dr Kate Hersov and Dr Kim Chilman-Blair - paediatric doctors who became increasingly frustrated at the lack of good educational resources for children suffering chronic illness, or for children whose parents were affected by such illness.
Their initiative has received some impressive backing - even the eminent British Medical Journal has called their comics a 'revolutionary medium' for children to learn about disease and disability. The BMJ notes that comics can convey educational messages about serious subjects in a fun and engaging way.
There five superheroes, each a 'specialist' in a different part of the body, take children on an adventurous journey around Mediland - a living, moving planet shaped like the human body.
The multiple sclerosis offering is part of a growing portfolio of comic books, each targeted for a different disease or clinical procedure. More than 30 titles have now been translated into 17 languages and distributed in 35 countries. The comics are aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 15.
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