This is not the real Noma web site. Look at the
bottom of the page.

 

Good Day Sir/Madam,

Please permit me to bring your attention to this illness called Noma. Noma (cancrum oris) is an acute and ravaging gangrenous infection affecting the face. The victims of Noma are mainly young children caught in a vicious circle of extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition.

Noma begins with ulcers in the mouth. If the condition is detected in the early stage, progression can be prevented with the use of common antibiotics and immediate nutritional rehabilitation. If left untreated, as happens in most cases, the ulcers progress to Noma at an alarming pace. The next stage is extremely painful when the cheeks or lips begin to swell and the victim's general condition deteriorates. Within a few days, the swelling increases and a blackish furrow appears and the gangrenous process sets in and, after the scab falls away and a gaping hole is left in the face. It is estimated that the mortality rate reaches up to an alarming 90%.

Survivors, those whose pitiful faces can be seen on these pages, can arguably be described as the fortunate ones. However, their lives will never be the same and they will suffer three main afflictions - facial disfigurement, functional impairment and social outcast.

The scar tissue restricts jaw movement and a child who survives is unlikely ever to be able to speak or eat normally again. In infancy, some children lose their lips and soon die of starvation, as they are unable to breast-feed.
 
   
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates an annual incidence of 500,000 victims world-wide. This means that around 450,000 children aged between infancy and puberty will die each year, mainly in sub-Saharan countries from Senegal to Ethiopia, a region also known as "the Noma belt". To this development i am asking you to join the fight against Noma.Now, we have 5,000 children waiting to undergo this surgery at the cost of 1,000euro per Child. Please in any way that you can help a child to undergo this surgery will be appreciated. if your interested in helping this children.
About Facing Africa.

In 1998, Chris Lawrence heard about the terrible plight of the hundreds of thousands of children suffering the hideous affliction of Noma. He wanted to do something, anything to help, and immediately contacted Allan Thom, an Orthodontist whom he had known for several years to ask if he had ever come across the ailment. Together, Chris and Allan researched, spoke to dozens of people, scoured the internet and finally conceived and registered the charity "Facing Africa NOMA". At first they groped around in the dark looking at a variety of countries in West Africa with known incidence of Noma but getting detailed information and answers was laborious and fraught with contradictions. Should they consider finding isolated Noma sufferers and bring them to England for months of complex facial operations or try to make up a team of volunteers to deal with children in their own environments? After weighty deliberations, it was agreed that it is far more effective to put together occasional expeditions to a chosen location in Africa and operate as often as volunteers could be found and as often as could be financially viable. Chris and Allan faxed, phoned and e-mailed doctors, surgeons and hospital administrators in a variety of West African countries, but with precious little result.

But on 2nd July 2000, Chris and Allan had an important meeting with Dr Klaas Marck, founder and President of Nederlandse Noma Stichting (NNS), a charity set up in 1996 that is sends teams of volunteer surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists to Sokoto in Northern Nigeria.

Facing Africa now works closely with it's European partners AWD Stiftung Kinderhilfe (Germany), The Dutch Noma Foundation and Interplast (France). So far this year we have spent ?58,000 on a four wheel drive for the hospital, the construction of a Health Education Centre and repairs to the ceiling in the operating theatre. This has meant that hospital staff are able to drive out to remote areas spreading the word about Noma, taking victims in to be treated and inviting local health workers to be trained on all aspects of Noma, it's signs and treatment. Later this year we hope to be able to supply more equipment for the teaching unit as well as to pay for the drilling of a new deep well and construction of a water storage tank to ensure a constant fresh supply of water for the hospital. In addition to our support of the upkeep of the hospital and extending it's facilities, we are also committed to finding surgeons, anesthetists and scrub nurses willing to give up their time to take their skills out to Sokoto.
 
 
History.

The first description of Noma as a clinical entity originated from Carolus Battus, a surgeon in The Netherlands in 1595. In 1828 A.L. Richter (a doctor in Berlin) clarified in his book that Noma had been widespread throughout Europe for many centuries and it was understood that malnutrition and measles could lead to Noma. By the end of the 19th Century, Noma had virtually disappeared from Western Europe as a result of improved nutrition and conditions of hygiene among the poor people. Noma cases were also found in Nazi concentration camps where victims died as a direct result of malnutrition. As a paradox, the active treatment of Noma became possible only AFTER its disappearance from Europe with the discovery of penicillin and by the development of reconstructive surgery. In less developed countries, however, Noma remained what it was, the "true face of real poverty".

 
Today Problem.

The WHO has fearfully reported that Noma may be on the increase in various African countries. This is hardly surprising considering the economic crisis in many sub-Saharan countries which impairs the health and well being of children through increasingly overcrowded conditions, deteriorating sanitation and
inadequate nutrition. Food supplies in some sub-Saharan countries have declined over the past decade and many people are afflicted by severe chronic malnutrition. The picture is further complicated by increasing numbers of armed conflicts, the AIDS epidemic and a high level of corruption. What Can Be Done?

In an ideal world, feeding the hungry and malnourished is the overall answer. This, however, is a task of immeasurable magnitude and is a matter for politicians. Education is another important factor.

Given the scant epidemiological information and statistics on Noma, the extent of the problem and its current trends are difficult to assess. The main obstacles are its presence in the poorest communities of the poorest societies with little or no access to front-line health care centres, let alone hospitals; the acceleration of Noma from its initial form to death is so rapid that few victims reach treatment facilities in time; unawareness of families and health workers who fail to identify the condition, and the tendency of families or communities to hide their Noma victims.

There is an immediate need for every country affected to set up a Noma control plan giving priority to early detection and immediate treatment. These countries need drugs and food supplements for patients and help in organising the training of primary health care personnel. Mothers and pregnant women as well as village leaders need to be informed and educated. Vaccination campaigns against measles and other childhood infections which wreak havoc in poor communities must be intensified.

 
Where Do we start?
 
As indicated above, there are probably some 50,000 survivors each year, most of whom will be grotesquely disfigured for the rest of their lives. Their facial deformities are mostly extensive and confronting which
in turn invariably causes social isolation and immense distress. A small boy of 8 was recently asked why he was so happy and smiled all the time soon after facial reconstruction had been completed. His answer was short and simple "I will now be able to play with my friends". Another child answered "because I will now be able to drink my milk through a straw". These heart-warming answers may seem trite to the average person living a normal life in the western world, but they have a profound sensitivity in a small village in Northern Nigeria.

Reconstructive facial surgery is one thing when carried out in a well-equipped and well-staffed hospital with adequate financial resources. The facial reconstruction of a Noma victim is both complex and time consuming and requires very special skills. Such surgery is neither available nor accessible in the countries where Noma is prevalent. The cost of bringing a Noma victim to Europe for facial reconstruction costs about £ 30,000 whereas similar treatment in a local hospital costs about £1,000. Imagine, a new face and a new life for £ 1,000 !

However, a new face and a new life are entirely dependent on the goodwill of volunteer medical teams and the goodwill and sponsorship of the more fortunate whom we hope will make donations to finance medical expeditions.
 
Dear Mr Bent Bay,
 
This mail is sent to you by a member of scampatrol.org, an international volunteer group dedicated to fighting internet crime, especially advance fee fraud. I was referred to your website by a person claiming to be Mr Robert Allen. You've put up some information about Noma on your site. A dreadful disease indeed.
Please be prepared for a small shock: This Robert Allen with the Gmail address is NOT the real one. We are quite sure he is an internet fraudster. He has spammed thousands of mailboxes and hopes to gain money by making people believe they pay money for the good cause, the fight against Noma. Alas, that is not the case. Scampatrol has received information that this person is NOT the one he claims to be and has nothing to do with the fight against NOMA. Unfortunately, I cannot give you more information about how we know this - but we are quite certain. And we want to avoid readers of your website getting the wrong information.
 
PLEASE, feel free to give any information you want on  NOMA, but PLEASE advice people to donate ONLY to official charities. Only then they can be sure their money will be put to good usage.
 
PLEASE read the warning message on the site of the Noma Hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria:
http://www.nomahospital.org (Both opening page and click on to 'WARNING'. It's a similar story.
 
PLEASE refer visitors to your website ONLY to the official NOMA website:
http://www.facingafrica.org/en/default.htm

PLEASE ask visitors to your site to donate for NOMA, but to OFFICIAL CHARITIES ONLY, and NEVER to pay ANYTHING by Western Union to someone about whose identity they cannot be sure.

PLEASE refer visitors to your site to the official NOMA  charities listed on this web page:
http://www.nomahospital.org/00000094b5013d748/index.html
 
 
Thank you so much!!
Gerard van Dijk
The Netherlands
www.scampatrol.org

 
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