By JEMI EKUNKUNBOR
As cases of Noma disease progressively rise to alarming dimensions, Speaker of the House of Representative, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, is flagging off an awareness campaign against the deadly disease on Monday, April 15 in Lagos, as an initiative of the Paul Jegede Foundation, sponsored by Japaul Oil and Maritime Services.
Noma, also known as cancrum oris is an acute gangrenous disease that occurs when the immune system is compromised leading to the destruction of the face, especially the mouth and cheek.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, GMD/CEO of Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, Mr Jegede Abiodun Paul said the campaign will help debunk myths surrounding Noma disease.
“We are embarking on this awareness campaign because the level of ignorance about the disease is too high and a lot of people are dying from it.
“In 2006, a survey showed that over 126,000 Nigerians are infected. You can imagine what the figure would be now. And a lot of people think it’s an act of God, some think it’s ancestral curse or the anger of God.
“Yet, the disease can be corrected with antibiotics if detected early or prevented from occurring with the right nutrition.”
Appealing to people with Noma to come forward and receive treatment and not feel stigmatized, he said the Foundation is partnering with doctors from France to give corrective surgeries to patients with the full blown disease.