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Retrospective Characterization of Noma Cases Found Incidentally across Nigeria during Outreach Programs for Cleft Lip from 2011–2020

Ngutor Ver-orOral Health Advocacy Initiative, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria;

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Chukwuemeka Kenneth IregbuDepartment of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, National Hospital Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria;

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Olaniyi Olufemi TaiwoInter-country Center for Oral Health for Africa, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

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Ikhelua Thomas AfeleokhaiOral Health Advocacy Initiative, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria;

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Chiangi Gabriel AzaOral Health Advocacy Initiative, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria;

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Jeremiah Z. AdajiOral Health Advocacy Initiative, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria;

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Charlse MargimaOral Health Advocacy Initiative, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria;

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ABSTRACT.

Reports of cases of noma in Nigeria remain scarce despite its known and devastating effects on victims. This report presents a retrospective cross-sectional study based on data regarding on patients with noma encountered incidentally during Oral Health Advocacy Initiative outreach on orofacial diseases across 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria over 10 years (2011–2020), which was aimed at contributing to an understanding of the epidemiology of noma in Nigeria. The data were collated and analyzed, and are presented in frequency distribution tables and charts. A total of 7,195 patients with noma were encountered. The northeastern region had the greatest number of patients (n = 1,785, 24.8%) whereas the southwestern region had the least (n = 196, 2.7%). When aggregated by state, Ondo State had the least number of patients (n = 31, 0.4%) whereas Kano State had the greatest (n = 623, 8.7%). Patient age ranged from 3 to 70 years, with a slight male preponderance (56.9%). This report highlights the fact that noma is prevalent in Nigeria but remains neglected, with extensive but preventable physical, emotional, and social debilitation and devastation of the victims across all age groups. There is a need for a more robust survey to determine the true burden of the disease. There is also an urgent need for collaboration between governments and nongovernmental organizations to institute appropriate interventions by way of public education and enlightenment, as well as case detection and early treatment to mitigate the devastating consequences of delayed or poorly managed cases.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Ngutor Ver-or, Plot 1088, Joseph Gomwalk Street, Gudu District, Gudu, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. E-mail: mc61243@yahoo.com

Authors’ addresses: Ngutor Ver-or, Ikhelua Thomas Afeleokhai, Chiangi Gabriel Aza, Jeremiah Z. Adaji, and Charlse Margima, Oral Health Advocacy Initiative, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria, E-mails: mc61243@yahoo.com, afeikhelua@gmail.com, talentsworld@rocketmail.com, adajijerry@gmail.com, and margimacharles@gmail.com. Iregbu Kenneth Chukwuemeka, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, National Hospital Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria, E-mail: keniregbu@yahoo.co.uk. Olaniyi Olufemi Taiwo, Inter-country Center for Oral Health for Africa, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, taiwo25@yahoo.co.uk.

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