By Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The federal government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Thursday inaugurated the National Technical Working Committee on the Eradication of Noma in Sokoto State.
Addressing journalists after the inauguration, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewale, represented by Dr Ojeh Amedu, said Noma is an acute devastating pandemic that occurs mainly in children which destroys the soft tissues of the oral and para oral structures.
He added that the survivors of the disease may exhibit facial mutilation and impaired growth of facial skeleton.
Amedu said the disease thrives where there is chronic malnutrition, poor environmental sanitation, poor oral hygiene and unsafe water supply, adding that the disease can be prevented as far as the causing factors are addressed.
“The disease is prevalent in the North-western Nigeria,” he said.
He stated that the Federal Ministry of Health would involve the Centre for Disease Control, dental professionals and other health care providers in respect of the surveillance management and rehabilitation of victims.
He pledged the federal government’s wherewithal in containing the menace, adding that members of the inaugurated technical working committee are seasoned professionals who have distinguished themselves in their areas of specialty.
The WHO officer in charge, Mr. Aliyu Abubakar, said the world body would partner the Federal Ministry of Health to tackle Noma in all ways.
He stated that WHO’s strategy to fight Noma includes prevention, early detection, immediate care, informing and educating the public.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Muhammad Abubakar III, who is to champion the campaign against Noma represented by Sarkin Sudan Wurno, thanked the Federal Ministry of Health and WHO for inaugurating the committee in Sokoto.
He assured them that he would deploy all resources available at his reach in fighting the scourge.