Noma is a disease of the mouth and face, where bacteria destroys the bones and tissues. It mainly affects malnourished children in areas of poverty and can often lead to death. The cases are rapidly progressing and mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa.
Joel Rosenbloom, director of student life and assistant professor in the Faculty of Dentistry, worked with U of T students to form the Noma Action Group in 2020 after witnessing noma for the first time. The group played an important role in advocating for noma’s inclusion on the list of NTDs, working with the Nigerian government and hosting events across Canada to raise awareness.
It is the hope that including noma on WHO’s list will continue to raise awareness and increase research and funding to help control the disease.