Noma Disease

Noma Disease

News: Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the inclusion of noma (cancrum oris or gangrenous stomatitis) in its official list of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

• Noma, also known as gangrenous stomatitis or cancrum oris, is a rapidly progressive and often fatal infection of the mouth and face. This disease predominantly affects children between the ages of two and six years old in the least developed countries around the world, primarily in the “noma belt” of subSaharan Africa.
• The disease starts as an inflammation of the gums, similar to a small mouth ulcer. The infection destroys the bone and tissue very quickly, affecting the jaw, lips, cheeks, nose, or eyes, depending on where the infection started
• It takes just days for noma to leave survivors with severe facial disfigurements that make it hard to eat, speak, see, or breathe.
• Risk factors for noma include poverty, protein malnutrition, recent illness, poor oral hygiene, kwashiorkor, HIV infection, “closely spaced pregnancies”, and maternal malnutrition. In 2023, noma was added to the World Health Organization’s list of neglected tropical diseases. 

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