WS04 : Noma, A Neglected Tropical Disease in the Digital Age – Old Difficulties, New Tools?

Context :

Noma (cancrum oris) is a non-contagious disease that begins as a localized ulceration in the gingiva or the mucosa of the cheek or lip, which rapidly becomes necrotic, and spreads to produce extensive destruction of the soft and hard facial tissue. Noma occurs predominantly in malnourished children aged 1-6 years, living in conditions of extreme poverty in developing countries. Recognized early and treated correspondingly with oral hygiene, nutritious interventions and mild antibiotics, mortality can decrease to 10 per cent. If left untreated noma leads to death in 80-90 per cent of cases; survivors face physical hardship, stigmatization and discrimination. The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee reported the numerous human rights violations associated with this disease.

The lack of up-to-date data on noma (incidence, prevalence) represents one of the main obstacles in the prevention, treatment and efforts aimed at raising awareness among stakeholders about noma. The aim of this workshop is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of practitioners and scholars to tackle the difficulties of gathering data on noma by relying on (new) digital tools; such efforts would permit the development of human rights and global health approaches for a better prevention and treatment of noma.

Objectives :

  1. What difficulties are encountered in gathering data on noma? (Comparative perspective with other similar tropical diseases for which we have data)
  2. What (new) digital tools could be developed to gather data on noma? (Comparative interdisciplinary perspectives)
  3. How can new data on noma be used for prevention and treatment? (Targeted prevention; stakeholders’ capacities and obligations)
  4. Transversal question: How does a human rights approach shape questions 1-3?

Participants :

Baratti-Mayer Denise GesnomaSwitzerlandChairman
Cismas Ioana University of YorkUnited KingdomChairman
Adoum Abdoulaye Youssouf Ministry of HealthChadMembre
Adamou Moussa-Pham Marie-Solène SentinellesSwitzerlandMembre
Alcoba Gabriel MSF, HUGSwitzerlandMembre
Bil Karla MSFNetherlandMembre
Geissbuhler Antoine HUG, UniGeSwitzerlandMembre
Giannopoulo Catherine UniGeSwitzerlandMembre
Grout Lise WHOSwitzerlandMembre
Marin Milena Amnesty InternationalUnited KingdomMembre
Ousmane Issa Hilfsaktion Noma ClinicNigerMembre
Srour Leila Health FrontiersLaosMembre
Wachsmuth-Huguet Isabelle WHOSwitzerlandMembre

WS: Workshop