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
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 […]

African Themed Evening in aid of Facing Africa Saturday 22nd October 2016

African Themed Evening in aid of Facing Africa Saturday 22nd October 2016 at 6.30pm Sue Criswick and Melanie Vojak are […]

Sufi’s Story

Remember this little girl ? Fourteen year old Sufi has lived with this tumour since she was five.  She spent […]

Recent Facebook Posts

Children can be very cruel. They are particularly cruel to other children, not many adults, because the consequences are usually slight. Without a theory of mind they are blind to the feelings aroused in others. Main reason why our children patients drop out of school is because they are being teased constantly by their peers. The surgery Amlakalgne had in October 2016 makes such a big change to her face and to her life: she will not be bullied anymore. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

During the great Ethiopian famine in the 80's Derebew was a toddler in South Wollo. His family as many others starved. Derebew survived the famine but his face was eaten away by NOMA, a disease that is triggered by severe malnutrition. Many mistakes were made in the 80s, both by the Western and by the Ethiopian Government. The West was criticized for not reacting to the crisis in time; the Ethiopian Government for its spending on civil war. After more than 20 years Facing Africa could put things right. We reconstructed Derebew's face and gave him his dignity back. Feels like justice. Picture: Derebew before and after his surgery in October 2016. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook