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MSF Noma

Overview of project for CFSGBI

The Nigerian Ministry of Health, supported by Médecins Sans Frontières, runs a specialised program for the treatment of noma at the Noma Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria. The model of care at the NCH consists of four main components: intensive care for patients with acute noma, continuous care for patients with noma sequelae, integrated hospital-based services and community-based services.


Aims of project

The project aims to provide care for noma patients at every stage of disease. The care provided is comprehensive in nature, and focused on improving patients’ quality of life. To learn more please visit our website.


Examples of progress made or particular achievements 

From August 2015 to August 2021, 53% of noma patients admitted to the NCH had acute noma and 47% were diagnosed as having sequelae of noma. During this period, 589 noma survivors had surgeries undergoing 858 procedures. The main surgical interventions happen four times a year, during the intervening periods, a team of doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, nutritional therapists and a physiotherapist provide integrated services for all hospitalised patients. Alongside the hospital-based services, there is a strong community-based component aiming to create referral pathways, raise awareness, reduce stigma and promote behaviours that counteract the main risk factors for noma.


Opportunities to get involved

Awareness Raising

Noma is a neglected disease. Part of this neglect stems from the fact that noma is relatively unknown in the global health community. In order to raise awareness about noma, we are asking the medical community to include noma in medical teaching curricula and hold documentary screenings. To request screening copies, please email Watch the short film selected for the inaugural Health for All film festival organised by the WHO here:, and the trailer of the 52-minute documentary Restoring Dignity here:


Working with us

Each year, thousands of international staff of all nationalities carry out field assignments, working with staff hired locally to give lifesaving medical assistance to people who would otherwise be denied access to healthcare, clean water and shelter. You can get involved by applying to work with us overseas here:



Your gift will help us bring lifesaving medical care to people in need. In 2020, over 97 per cent of our income came from 7 million private donors. It is thanks to the generosity of these private supporters – mainly individuals like you, but also companies and private foundations – that we are able to operate independently and provide humanitarian assistance in some of the world’s most insecure environments and forgotten crises. Donate here:


Contact details 

MSF website:

Email Mohana Amirtharajah (Surgical Advisor):

Email Elise Farley (Noma Epidemiologist):


Photos credit: "Claire Jeantet - Fabrice Catérini / Inediz"