The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has reiterated the Federal government’s commitment to reducing the cases of Noma disease in Nigeria.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, stated this during the 2017 World Noma Day Commemoration and Stakeholders Meeting in Abuja.

Prof. Adewole informed that Noma is derived from the Greek word the Devour or Cancrum Oris, it is devastating infectious disease that destroys the soft and hard tissues of the oral and para- oral structure.

He noted that the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with a German NGO, Hilfastion Noma and World Health Organization would establish a National Noma Control Programme in Nigeria.

He further said that the Ministry would coordinate activities that would involve State ministries of Health and local Government Areas through Primary Health Centers (PHCs).

Prof. Adewole stressed that the prevention of Noma in Nigeria would require measures that address related problems including poverty, proper hygiene, provision of portable water supply, provision of vaccines against childhood diseases and the need to encourage more mothers to embark on exclusive breastfeeding.

To this end, he urged all Oral Health Stakeholders, Development Partners, NGO to deliberate exhaustively during the stakeholders meeting to develop a robust triennial plan and a roadmap that would actualize the control and eradication of the disease in Nigeria and African sub region in general.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, FMOH, who was represented by the Director, Hospital Services, Dr. Wapada Balami, said that the National Noma Day was to alert Nigerians of the dangers of Noma and its effect on children, increase actions to prevent cases of Noma in the States concerned, develop as well as foster partnership between private and public authorities to improve the prevention and it eradication in Nigeria.

He noted that Noma disease had high morbidity and mortality rates, so there was need for a Noma Control Plan with priority given to early detection and immediate treatment.

In his goodwill message, the WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Wondi Alemu, represented by Dr. Mary Dewan, said that Noma would be prevented by providing good nutrition, sanitation facilities, vaccination and maintaining good personal and environmental hygiene.

He called on Stakeholders to strengthen coordination of control actions, collaboration and partnership among the various groups in the fight against Noma.

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