Active ImageNoma, or cancrum oris, is a fast-acting gangrene infection that destroys the mucus membranes of the oral and facial tissues. The exact etiology of it is unknown, but it most often occurs in malnourished children living in areas with poor sanitation.

Noma has not been widely reported in the LAC region, but approximately 140,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. Mortality rate is about 8.5%. It is most prevalent in sub-saharan Africa.

This section has information on the disease, worldwide prevalence, and links for more information:

Introduction and Fact Sheets

icon Noma in the World (44.66 kB)

WHO.  Map showing global incidence of NOMA by percent of population effected.

Scientific and Technical Publications

Noma in Loas: Stigma of Severe Poverty in Rural Asia

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2008.  Description of clinical and social features of Noma in Laos emphasizing the significance of poverty reduction,  nutritional improvement, increasing awareness and advantages of early therapy.

Epidemiology of the Incidence of Oro-Facial Noma: A Study of Cases in Dakar, Senegal, 1981-1993

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1999. Thirteen-year retrospective study based on clinical records of oral gangrene occurring in early childhood in extremely poor areas in an attempt to understand the epidemiology of noma.

Additional Resources:

No Noma(French)

International Noma Federation.

Winds of Hope

The Swiss foundation "Winds of Hope" is making its first donation to WHO to help African children facing the threat of the deadly Noma disease.

Noma, Facing of Africa

A UK NGO devoted to Noma.

Sources - Database:

General Health Sicience: LILACS, MEDLINE /International Agencies:  PAHO- Pan American Health Organization, WHOLIS - World Health Organization / Cochrane Library: Cochrane systematic reiews, Protocols of Cochrane systematic reviews, CENTRAL, Abstracts by INAHTA, economic studies and critically appraised, abstracts of quality assessments / BBO -Brazilian Dentistry Bibliography  / MEDCARIB - Caribbean Health Sciences Literature / Bandolier / Ibero-American Clinical Trials, Evidence. Updating in ambulatory, Reports / HIL- Internet Resources.