Donate Form
Facing Africa Noma
16_Girl_Profile.jpg
Share This Page

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 who suffer unimaginable pain, discomfort and social exclusion from their communities.

Noma is an opportunistic infection that begins with ulcers in the mouth that is promoted by extreme poverty. If the condition is detected in the early stage, progression can be prevented with the use of mild antibiotics and immediate nutritional rehabilitation. If left untreated, as happens in most cases, the ulcers progress to Noma at an alarming pace. The next stage is extremely painful when the cheeks or lips begin to swell and the victim’s general condition deteriorates. Within a few days, the swelling increases and a blackish furrow appears and the gangrenous process sets in and, after the scab falls away and a gaping hole is left in the face. It is estimated that the mortality rate reaches up to an alarming 90%.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 140,000 new cases of noma every year, mostly in sub-Sahar Africa.

News & Events
Facing Africa on Savoo Search

We’re excited to announce Savoo Search, Save and Raise as our new fundraising partner, and we’d like to introduce you […]

God save “America” – America Molla – 3-year old Ethiopian girl with “noma”

This is America (the child with a blue necklace) with her brother, baby sister and her mum (Genet). No member […]

The new Face of Sufi

Sufi is 13. Just like all teenage girls, she smiles, enjoys talking to people, loves her hair being done and […]

Recent Facebook Posts

Searching rural areas of Ethiopia for "noma" patients ... See MoreSee Less

Preparing for a new Facing Africa documentary: some footage from teams outreach trip in May 2013.

View on Facebook

This is "Zinash" on the day she is leaving hospital after major surgery in may to remove a huge tumour growing out of her mouth that weighed 3.5 kg. She can now return to her home village and lead a normal life and reunite with her friends and family. Happy happy happy ... See MoreSee Less

Reunited! Zinash and her dad together after she was discharged from Facing Africa care yesterday :) ...

View on Facebook

Reunited! Zinash and her dad together after she was discharged from Facing Africa care yesterday :) What a wonderful family! <3 ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook