Business & Finance

Nigeria, WHO committed to end Noma disease by 2023

The Federal Government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday restated commitments to end Noma disease in the country by 2023.

Noma is a necrotising (decay, eating up) disease that destroys the mouth and the face.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, represented by Dr Gloria Uzoigwe, Deputy Director and Desk Officer Noma, made this known at the National Training of Trainers on Noma in Nigeria.

He said Nigeria has joined the Africa Regional Control Programme on Noma in collaboration with WHO, who are sponsoring the ministry to provide the training.

He said Nigeria was guided by WHO to develop a three-year programme and action plan to control the disease in the country.

Adewole said Nigeria has started implementing the programme hence the train the trainer's workshop.

According to him, we have done the mapping of Noma disease in the country and we want to reach states with the highest burden''.

He said findings from the ministry revealed that the disease was endemic across the country with some states in North West and North East having the highest burden in Nigeria.

He said the ministry has trained National Health Officers and the project officers from National Orientation Agency (NOA) from the high endemic states, engaging them on the importance of the programme.

The minister said the NOA project officers were invited from Jigawa, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Borno, Bauchi, Benue, Niger, Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Kebbi and Zamfara States.

He tasked expectant mothers to ensure that they attend antenatal services regularly and eat good and rich food, after delivery mothers should ensure that babies were breastfed and did not miss immunisation''.

Dr Barango Prebo, Regional Coordinator Noma, WHO, said the organisation supports Nigeria and other nine other countries to eradicate the disease.

Prebo listed the countries to include Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Cote' de Ivoire, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo.

He said in 1994, WHO declared Noma a public health problem and global disease affecting children aged between zero and six in Africa.

He added that the World Health Assembly, in 2007, adopted resolution to support countries affected by the disease in their fight against Noma.

The regional coordinator said the disease, which was induced by ignorance, poverty and malnutrition, starts with a sore or wound in a gum, was preventable and treatable.

Some of the participants expressed optimism that the training received would be stepped down in the project states with the overall goal of preventing new infections.

Source: Voice of Nigeria