NOMA AS A NTD (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     19th December 2023        

Context: Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially added noma, one of the world's most underrecognized health challenges, to its list of neglected tropical diseases (NTD).

Noma Disease

  • About: It is a severe and aggressive gangrenous process (a condition wherein body tissues die due to infection or lack of blood supply) that affects the mouth, nose, and lips.
  • Also known as: Cancrum oris or Gangrenous stomatitis
  • Noma usually begins as an ulcer on the mucus membrane at the alveolar margin of the mouth and rapidly spreads into other parts of the mouth, including teeth, jawbone, cheek, tongue, lips, and nose. 

o This eventually results in extensive necrosis and destruction of soft tissues and bones.

  • Symptoms: Swollen gums, swollen cheek lining, and ulcer formation.
  • Risk Factors: Poor oral hygiene, malnutrition, weakened immune systems, infections, and extreme poverty.
  • Treatment: The conditions associated with noma are often life-threatening, if not treated appropriately on time.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

  • About: NTDs are a diverse group of tropical infections that are common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • Caused by: Pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and parasitic worms.
  • 13 neglected Tropical Diseases: ascariasis, Buruli ulcer, Chagas disease, dracunculiasis, hookworm infection, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, and trichuriasis.
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