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Noma: A Disease That Shouldn’t Exist Anymore

Health systems are facing many challenges globally. Some, like COVID-19, receive massive attention from media, research institutes and policy makers, while other diseases which have been around for centuries remain neglected. One of these is noma and we believe it's possible to tackle it by increasing awareness.  

MSF Sweden, in partnership with Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, The University of Gothenburg, The Swedish Society of Medicine and Inediz, would like to invite you to a series of special events to raise awareness on noma, a neglected disease. We will screen an award-winning documentary film ”Restoring Dignity” followed by talks and a panel discussion with international guest speakers.  

Please join us in a global effort to tackle the neglect, to raise awareness of noma and to advocate for its addition to the WHO’s Neglected Tropical Diseases list.  

Event locations

About the documentary film ‘Restoring Dignity’  

The documentary follows noma survivors in Nigeria, as they visit a specialised hospital in the city of Sokoto, run by the Ministry of Health and supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Over one year, the film follows their journey to heal their wounds and overcome years of isolation.  

Production by Inediz 

In collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières 

Written, filmed and directed by Claire Jeantet & Fabrice Caterini 

About noma 

Noma is a little understood, non-contagious, rapidly progressing gangrenous infection of the mouth and face, associated with a high mortality rate. Noma mostly affects children under seven years old living in poverty; an estimated 140,000 children every year. Up to 90% of them die within the first two weeks without timely treatment. This preventable disease eats away tissue rapidly, leaving survivors with holes and facial disfigurements that cause them life-threatening impairments. They often face stigma as a result.

But for most of them, living in remote areas, surgery is an option they’ve never heard about. Those who manage to arrive in Sokoto Noma Hospital meet other people with noma for the first time and discover a place to find hope.

Since 2014, MSF has been supporting the Sokoto Noma Hospital in Nigeria. MSF has also been advocating to get noma added to the World Health Organization Neglected Tropical Diseases list by 2023. Nigeria is leading this initiative and will submit a request package to WHO by the end of 2022.