Noma: An Interdisciplinary Exploration Of The Realities, Burden And Framing Of A Neglected Disease

Date : Thursday 17 June 2021, 11:00am – 12:30pm (CET, Central European Time)

Location : Internet

Language : English and French

Category : Presentation Session

Contact :


Noma (cancrum oris) is a gangrenous disease which destroys the soft and hard facial tissues. It predominantly affects children aged 2-6 years living in extreme poverty. With a high mortality rate of up to 90 per cent, noma leaves survivors with significant aesthetic and functional sequelae, suffering intense social isolation, stigmatisation and discrimination.

The Noma Project is a collaborative undertaking among researchers from various universities, benefitting from the support of non-, inter- and governmental partners. In an effort to achieve greater understanding of noma and engender action to prevent, detect and treat this disease and redress the associated human rights violations, the Noma Project seeks to:

  1. Establish noma’s epidemiology & global burden;
  2. Portray the realities & lived experiences of child and adult noma survivors, and
  3. Evaluate the implications of the framing of noma as a human rights issue & neglected tropical disease.


During this session, researchers involved in the Noma Project will be presenting preliminary findings of a systematic literature review on noma, legal analysis, and in-country fieldwork in Burkina Faso and Niger. We invite you to an interactive discussion with our researchers with the aim to explore modalities of generating scholarly and social impact relating to noma.


The panel will be chaired by Professor Emmanuel Kabengele Mpinga from the Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva.

Questions & answers will be moderated by Dr Ioana Cismas from the Centre for Applied Human Rights & York Law School.

The panelists are:

  • Dr Denise Baratti-Mayer, Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva & Service of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Geneva University Hospitals (Switzerland)
  • Maina Sani Malam Grema, Universite Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (Niger) & LASDEL (Laboratoire d’Etudes et de Recherche sur les Dynamiques Sociales et le developpement Local)
  • Dr Moubassira Kagone, Centre de Recherche en Sante de Nouna (Burkina Faso)
  • Alice Trotter, Centre for Applied Human Rights & York Law School (United Kingdom)
  • Anais Galli, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Switzerland)


  • Scholars and students of global health, medicine, law, social sciences, human rights
  • Medical doctors focusing on neglected tropical diseases, oral health, surgery, humanitarian practitioners, human rights experts
  • Governmental bodies concerned with health, poverty, development, humanitarian aid, human rights
  • Intergovernmental organisations working on health, poverty, development
  • National and international NGOs working on health, humanitarian affairs, poverty, development
  • Global health funders

Preparatory Document