Oral Health Program

PAHO Publications:

World Health Organization:

Others Sources:

  • For scientific and technical publications and guidlelines reguarding PRAT, Development Disorders, HIV/AIDS and Oral Health, NOMA, Nutrition and Oral Health, Oral Cancer and Periodontal Disease go to Health Topics section

Resolutions and Mandates

10-Year Plan on Oral Health:

47th Directing Council. 58th Session of the Regional Committee. Washington, D.C., USA. 25 - 29 September 2006.

  • Partnership: El Programa Regional de Salud Oral de la OPS/OMS y la Facultada de Odontología de la Pontifica Universidad Javeriana firmaron acuerdo de colaboración
  • PAHO-Colgate Agreement on Community-based Interventions


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.

HIV/AIDS has infected millions of people worldwide. It is the most devastating illness of our time with respect to loss of human life and its associated social and economic costs.

The oral cavity plays a key role in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is often the first clinical sign of the disease and usually the most common complaint of those suffering from the illness. Approximately 40 varying oral manifestations of the disease have been reported since the start of the AIDS epidemic.

This section provides information on oral health care, existing dental programs, strategies and interventions for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA):

Introduction and Fact Sheets

Oral health and communicable diseases: HIV/AIDS (WHO Introduction.)

Oral Lesions in Infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (649,4 kB) (WHO, 2005. Discussion on the importance of oral lesions as indicators of HIV and as predictors of progression of HIV disease to AIDS.)

pdf Policy for Prevention of Oral Manifestations in HIV/AIDS: The Approach of the WHO Global Oral Health (495.29 kB)  (WHO, 2006. Overview of global AIDS epidemic including discussion of health systems and policy.  Includes information on the relationship between AIDS and oral health with recommendations for prevention and capacity building.)

Scientific and Technical Publications

Oral Healthcare for People with HIV Infection (AIDS Institute & New York State Department of Public Health, 2001. Diagnosis and management of soft-tissue lesions, clinical manifestations and management of HIV-related periodontal disease, oral and maxillofacial surgery, ethical and legal considerations, oral health management in children and adolescents with HIV.)

 El VIH/SIDA y Otras Infecciones en la Práctica de la Odontoestomatología (7.54 MB) (OPS & ONUSIDA, 2002. Aspectos generales y diagnóstico del VIH, manifestaciones orales y su tratamiento.)

Training Materials

Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Patients (NIH, 2008. Diagnosis, lab monitoring, treatment recommendations, monitoring antiretroviral therapy and drug resisting testing.)   

Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents (Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council (OARAC), 2008. Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in HIV-1-infected adults and adolescents.)

Guidance on Provider-Initiated HIV Testing and Counseling in Health Facilities (2.65 MB) (WHO & UNAIDS, 2007. Recommendations for provider-initiated testing and counseling in different types of HIV epidemics including information on social, policy and legal framework, informed consent and special consideration for various subgroups.)

pdf A Guide for Epidemiological Studies of Oral Health Manifestations of HIV (1.16 MB)  (WHO, 1993. A guide intended for oral health practitioners who are not specialists in epidemoiology and for epidemiologists who are interested in HIV-associated oral lesions.)

Additional Resources: