Geneva Health Forum Workshop: Noma, A Neglected Disease in the Digital Age – Old Difficulties, New Tools?

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConference participation


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.

The workshop consisted in three online session (Sept.-April 2018) and a plenary meeting in Geneva on 11 April within the framework of the Geneva Health Forum 2018.
Period11 Apr 2018
Event typeWorkshop
Degree of RecognitionInternational