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New CAHR research project on the neglected tropical disease noma

Posted on 23 August 2019

Dr Ioana Cismas is taking lead on a new international multi-disciplinary research project.

Dr Ioana Cismas (CAHR & the York Law School) and Alice Trotter (LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice 20117/18 and current PhD student at York) together with an international multi-disciplinary research team are developing the project Noma, The Neglected Disease. An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Its Realities, Burden, and Framing. The project was awarded a research grant by the Swiss Network for International Studies and enjoys generous financial support by the foundations Hilfsaktion Noma and Winds of Hope.

Noma (cancrum oris), is a gangrenous disease which predominantly affects children aged 2-6 years living in extreme poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With a high mortality rate, noma leaves survivors with significant aesthetic and functional sequelae, suffering intense social isolation, stigmatisation and discrimination.

The project seeks to establish noma’s epidemiology and global burden, portraying the experiences of child and adult noma survivors in Burkina Faso, Niger and Laos, and evaluating the implications of the framing of noma as a human rights issue and neglected tropical disease (NTD). The research is designed to achieve greater understanding of noma and engender action to prevent, detect and treat the disease and redress the human rights violations suffered by survivors. To generate academic and social impact at local and national level, as well as at international level through the inclusion of noma in the World Health Organization list of NTDs, the research team relies on strong partnerships & collaborations with non-, inter- and governmental key stakeholders.