Faces of Noma - PhMuseum

Faces of Noma

Claire Jeantet

2017

Sokoto, Nigeria

Noma survivors suffer the physical and psychological consequences of disfigurement. They posed here on the screening day in front of the light of an international surgical team who comes four times a year to Sokoto, northwestern Nigeria, to practice facial reconstructions.

Noma can take multiple forms depending on where the initial infection in the mouth started and how it has evolved over the years. Surgery often involves several operations over the course of months or even years.

Noma is a disfiguring gangrene caused by multiple factors including malnutrition, poor oral hygiene and immunodeficiency diseases like measles. It was eradicated in most parts of the world but still exists in some pockets in Africa and South-East Asia where there is extreme poverty. The infection can be stopped with antibiotics but an estimated 90% of Noma patients die because of lack of access to health care.

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  • Noma is a disfiguring gangrene caused by multiple factors including malnutrition, poor oral hygiene and immunodeficiency diseases like measles. The infection can be stopped with antibiotics but an estimated 90% of Noma patients die because of lack of access to health care.
    Survivors, suffering physical and psychological consequences, posed here on the screening day in front of the light of an international surgical team who comes four times a year to Sokoto, northwestern Nigeria, to practice facial reconstructions. Surgery often involves several operations over the course of months or even years.

  • Fatima Ahmadu, a 10-year-old Noma patient from Tuntube, Sokoto State, is pictured during the screening session at Noma children hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria, on October 18, 2017. She stays in the hospital with her mother, Rashida, her sister, Zahariya, and her brother, Zaharadeen. Worried about her own mother who is sick, Rashida tried without success to contact her husband to have news. They have been away from home since 4 weeks.

  • Balkisu Bala, a 40-year-old Noma patient from Nabardo, Bauchi State, is pictured during the screening session at Noma children hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria, on October 18, 2017. She says she got Noma at age 4, and previously had traditional medicine done on her wound. Married, she has five female children, and four of them are married.

  • Dayaba Zakiriya, a 14-year-old Noma patient from Allela, Sokoto State, is pictured during the screening session at Noma children hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria, on October 18, 2017. Dayaba has no connection anymore with her parents since her father repudiated her mother. Her custody was given by the family to her grand aunt, Aisha. She is staying with her in the hospital along with one of Aisha's grandson.

  • Rumaisau Ibrahim, a 16-year-old Noma patient from Tungarau, Kano State, is pictured during the screening session at Noma children hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria, on October 18, 2017. This is the fifth visit of Rumaisau to the hospital and she stays with her mother Hauwa, her sister Faiza, and her baby brother Sadiq. Hauwa has six other sons and daughters waiting at home.

  • Blessing Elijah, a 17-year-old Noma patient from Mampe, Adamawa State, is pictured during the screening session at Noma children hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria, on October 18, 2017. Blessing arrived to the hospital 5 weeks ago with her older brother. Their mother came to replace him as a caretaker as soon as she had finished harvesting groundnuts.

  • Amina Muhammed Garba, a 19-year-old Noma patient from Jajimaji, Yobe State, is pictured during the screening session at Noma children hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria, on October 18, 2017. Amina already had undergone three surgeries in less than a year. She usually came with her mother who couldn't make it this time because she is the beneficiary of the food distribution card in their area and needs to provide for the whole family.

  • Adamu Buhari, a 15-year-old Noma patient from Pana, Kebbi state, is pictured during the screening session at Noma children hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria, on October 18, 2017. Adamu got infected by Noma after he and his brothers got measles. They recovered but Adamu's nose got rotten. Since then, his father Malam takes it as a personal battle to get surgery for his son. Adamu's nose was reconstructed in August 2017 from a piece of his rib and a skin graft from his scalp, which now needs to be covered.


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