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Facing Africa Noma
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The first description of Noma as a clinical entity originated from Carolus Battus, a surgeon in The Netherlands in 1595.

In 1828 A.L. Richter (a doctor in Berlin) clarified in his book that Noma had been widespread throughout Europe for many centuries and it was understood that malnutrition and measles could lead to Noma. By the end of the 19th Century, Noma had virtually disappeared from Western Europe as a result of improved nutrition and conditions of hygiene among the poor people. Noma cases were also found in Nazi concentration camps where victims died as a direct result of malnutrition.

As a paradox, the active treatment of Noma became possible only AFTER its disappearance from Europe with the discovery of penicillin and by the development of reconstructive surgery. In less developed countries, however, Noma remained what it was, the “true face of real poverty”.

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