• Model of care, Noma Children's Hospital, northwest Nigeria.

      Isah, S; Amirtharajah, M; Farley, E; Semiyu Adetunji, A; Samuel, J; Oluyide, B; Bil, K; Shoaib, M; Abubakar, N; de Jong, A; et al. (Wiley Online, 2021-07-22)
      The Nigerian Ministry of Health has been offering care for noma patients for many years at the Noma Children's Hospital (NCH) in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria, and Médecins Sans Frontières has supported these initiatives since 2014. The comprehensive model of care consists of four main components: acute care, care for noma sequelae, integrated hospital-based services and community-based services. The model of care is based on the limited evidence available for prevention and treatment of noma and follows WHO's protocols for acute patients and best practice guidelines for the surgical treatment of noma survivors. The model is updated continually as new evidence becomes available, including evidence generated through the operational research studies performed at NCH. By describing the model of care, we wish to share the lessons learned with other actors working in the noma and neglected tropical disease sphere in the hope of guiding programme development.
    • Outcomes at 18 mo of 37 noma (cancrum oris) cases surgically treated at the Noma Children's Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria.

      Farley, ES; Amirtharajah, M; Winters, RD; Taiwo, AO; Oyemakinda, MJ; Fosto, A; Torhee, LA; Mehta, UC; Bil, KA; Lenglet, AD (Oxford University Press, 2020-08-12)
      Background: Noma is a rapidly progressing infection of the oral cavity frequently resulting in severe facial disfigurement. We present a case series of noma patients surgically treated in northwest Nigeria. Methods: A retrospective analysis of routinely collected data (demographics, diagnosis and surgical procedures undergone) and in-person follow-up assessments (anthropometry, mouth opening and quality of life measurements) were conducted with patients who had surgery >6 mo prior to data collection. Results: Of the 37 patients included, 21 (56.8%) were male and 22 (62.9%) were aged >6 y. The median number of months between last surgery and follow-up was 18 (IQR 13, 25) mo. At admission, the most severely affected anatomical area was the outer cheek (n = 9; 36.0% of patients had lost between 26% and 50%). The most frequent surgical procedures were the deltopectoral flap (n = 16; 43.2%) and trismus release (n = 12; 32.4%). For the eight trismus-release patients where mouth opening was documented at admission, all had a mouth opening of 0-20 mm at follow-up. All patients reported that the surgery had improved their quality of life. Conclusions: Following their last surgical intervention, noma patients do experience some improvements in their quality of life, but debilitating long-term sequelae persist.