Noma (cancrum oris) is an acute and ravaging gangrenous infection affecting the face. The victims of Noma are mainly children under the age of 6, caught in a vicious circle of extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition.
Facing Africa currently funds two teams of highly skilled and experienced volunteer surgeons from the UK, Germany, France and Holland to Ethiopia each year to perform complex facial reconstructive surgery on the victims of the disease noma. Each team is made up of 4 surgeons (plastic, maxillo-facial and cranio-facial), 3 anaesthetists, an anaesthetic assistant, 3 operating room nurses, 3 ward nurses, a doctor and 2 wound care nurses. Each surgical mission spends 2 weeks in Ethiopia and generally carries out 35 – 45 facial reconstructions. The cost of each mission is around £ 75,000 (US $ 120,000).
In addition to the surgery, Facing Africa also encourages local doctors, surgeons and nurses to attend lectures and presentations done by our volunteers in order to teach them new and better procedures and techniques. Ethiopian surgeons are invited to observe and assist during surgery. Facing Africa also donates surgical instruments, consumables and disposables to Ethiopian hospitals at the end of each mission.