FG Moves to Curb Spread of Noma Disease

  • …To build specialist treatment centre in Abuja

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The federal government has embarked on measures to arrest the prevalence of Noma disease; a public health concern with 80 per cent mortality rate if untreated.

Noma disease also known as Cacrum Oris is an infectious opportunistic disease generally associated with people living in extreme poverty.

Speaking recently at the launch of the National Noma Policy Document and Triennial Noma Control Action (2019-2021), in Abuja recently, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that there are plans to build a Noma Specialist Hospital at the National Hospital, Abuja which will undertake among other treatment interventions, plastic and genital surgeries.

He said the Federal Ministry of Health has established the National Noma Control Programme in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) which aims to boost awareness of Noma, its prevention and care.

Ehanire said the ministry was using the National Noma Day to scale up awareness of the disease.

According to him, data from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that Noma was found everywhere in Nigeria, but predominantly in the North-west.

He said the Sultan of Sokoto has been enlisted among those to be inaugurated as National Noma Champion and a “Technical Working Group on Noma” to advise Government on ways of addressing the health challenge.

“We have embarked on a number of national trainings, step down trainings and sensitisation activities in high burden States such as Kebbi. Sokoto. Jigawa and Akwa Ibom, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency and Nigerian Centre for Disease Control to increase surveillance. case finding and prompt disease reporting”.

Earlier, the Director of Dentistry in the ministry of health, Mrs. Ajibola Longer said there is presently very low awareness about the scourge of the Noma disease in the country which is being driven mainly by poverty and is mostly found in the rural areas.

She explained that the aim of the workshop is majorly promote awareness among the health stakeholders on the need to work collaboratively to tackle the disease.

Health officials from some African countries and officials of the World Health Organisation and other stakeholders were at the training programme.