WHO Officially Recognizes Noma As A Neglected Tropical Disease

16 Dec 2023 • The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the inclusion of noma (cancrum oris or gangrenous stomatitis) in its official list of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

  • Noma, a severe gangrenous disease of the mouth and face, primarily affects malnourished young children (between the ages of 2 and 6 years) in regions of extreme poverty.
  • There are multiple risk factors associated with this disease, including poor oral hygiene, malnutrition, weakened immune systems, infections, and extreme poverty.
  • Treatment involves antibiotics, advice and support on practices to improve oral hygiene with disinfectant mouthwash (salt water or chlorhexidine could be used) and nutritional supplements.
  • If diagnosed during the early stages of the disease, treatment can lead to proper wound healing without long-term consequences.

The recognition of noma as an NTD aims to amplify global awareness, catalyse research, stimulate funding, and boost efforts to control the disease through multisectoral and multi-pronged approaches.

Source: WHO | Read full story

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