Noma (cancrum oris) is a serious gangrenous disease of the mouth and face, mainly affecting children aged 2 to 6 years in sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite substantial knowledge gaps, it is reported to be linked with malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, immunosuppression, and living in extreme poverty situations.
This course addresses epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, and public health considerations, including the human rights perspective of noma.
Photo credits: Hilfsaktion Noma e.V: https://www.afro.who.int/publications/information-brochure-early-detection-and-management-noma
This course is also available in:
Français - Português - Hausa - Hindi
Overview: Noma is a rapidly progressing, invasive, and debilitating gangrenous disease of the orofacial region, which affects the most vulnerable and marginalized populations worldwide, in mainly sub-Saharan Africa, and also, in some cases, in Asia and Latin America. Accurate estimation of the noma burden is challenging due to its fast progression, with high mortality at an estimated 70–90% without any treatment, weak health systems and disease surveillance, and lack of awareness of the disease by health care workers and the general population. Despite substantial knowledge gaps, noma is reported to be linked to malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, immunosuppression, and extreme poverty situations, many of which are targeted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While commonly available broad-spectrum antibiotics can be used to treat the early reversible stages of noma, once it progresses, the mortality rate is high and the sequelae are numerous, including difficulty in eating, drinking, and speaking, disfigurement, and social stigma.
The aim of the course is to provide information about noma, and to increase the knowledge and skills of national and front-line health workers to help them prevent, identify and treat this disease.
Course duration: Approximately one hour.
Certificates: A Record of achievement certificate will be available to participants who score at least 80% in the final assessment. Participants who receive a Record of achievement can also download an Open badge for this course. Click here to learn how.