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Facing Africa Noma
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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.




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Our faces are a dynamic canvas, one in which emotions are drawn vividly – the most powerful channel of non-verbal communication. We constantly monitor the faces of people around us because it provides vital clues to an impressive variety of possibilities: emotions, identity, age, humour, whether a person likes or dislikes us, attraction and even background. Imagine that your face is taken from you at the age of 3. Sintayhu is only 15. Affected by NOMA since her early childhood she was shy and withdrawn when she first came to us. Up to now her life has been defined by a huge gaping hole on the right side of her face. In her community, among her own people her identity was determined by the disease, which eaten away her face. She is a delightful character and we hope that her surgery in October 2017 will help her to gain the ability to share their emotions and develop a strong presence with her community and beyond. Picture credit: Emily ... See MoreSee Less

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Our Selam and Tina have been working in the field for the last few weeks, they are traveling in rural Ethiopia searching for new noma patients for May 2018 mission. ... See MoreSee Less

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Facing Africa shared their video. ... See MoreSee Less

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