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  • Date and time: Tuesday 18 May 2021, 1pm to 2pm
  • Location: Online
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Noma is a gangrenous disease that affects people (mostly children) living in poverty. 90% of people affected die in the first two weeks. Noma attacks bone, skin and tissue, and leaves survivors with aesthetic and functional sequelae: disfigurement, and impairments in breathing, swallowing, speaking, vision and definitive mouth closure. The World Health Organization estimates that noma affects 140,000 people every year. Many survivors experience physical and mental consequences. People often face social isolation, stigmatisation and discrimination in their communities. Mental health problems are common and children can experience developmental delay when isolated from society.  

In 2012, the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee recognised noma as a cause and effect of human rights violations, including the child’s right to health, education and non-discrimination.  

Film: Restoring Dignity 

The documentary ‘Restoring Dignity’ follows survivors in Nigeria, as they visit a specialised hospital in the city of Sokoto, run by the Ministry of Health and supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Over one year, the film follows their journey to heal their wounds and overcome years of isolation. Watch the Restoring Dignity trailer.  

For this event, we invite you to watch the documentary ‘Restoring Dignity’ free of charge, using the promo code sent after registration. The documentary runs for 52-minutes.

We then invite you to a panel discussion with our speakers below, including the Director of the documentary and noma survivors.  The panel discussion will be chaired by the Director of the LSHTM International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED), Professor Hannah Kuper. 

Please watch the documentary in advance, although you are of course most welcome to join the panel discussion if you have not.

Speakers include:

Ioana Cismas is an international law scholar based at the University of York and is project co-coordinator of The Noma Project. The project aims to engender action to prevent, detect and treat noma, and redress the associated human rights violations.

Fidel Strub is the President of Noma-Aid Switzerland and is a noma survivor. From Burkina Faso and now based in Switzerland, Fidel is highly active in efforts to overcome noma.

Claire Jeantet is one of the Directors of the documentary ‘Restoring dignity’. Claire and her co-Director Fabrice Catérini partnered with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to produce this documentary following noma survivors over the course of one year. Claire and Fabrice run Inediz, a media company focused on documenting social issues.

Mulikat Okanlawon is a noma survivor who works in the hospital supported by MSF in Sokoto for noma survivors. Mulikat cannot join us live, but has recorded a short message for us.