Noma. Time to address a collective moral failure

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    In this issue of the journal, Srour and others(1) give a comprehensive overview of the history, epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, microbiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of noma, a devastating orofacial gangrene that affects malnourished children in tropical regions. Even if exclusively present in tropical regions, noma is better described as a "poverty disease" rather than as a "tropical disease, " because it has accompanied extreme poverty and poor nutrition for centuries.(2,3) With the exception of cases occurred in concentration camps during World War II,(2,4) noma disappeared from Europe and North America by the end of the nineteenth century, thanks to the economic development and improved access to nutrition and health care.(1,3) Today, it is particularly present in the sub-Saharan Africa "noma belt, " stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia....

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)263–264
    Number of pages3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Neglected diseases
    • Human rights


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