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  • info@nonoma.org

Médecins Sans Frontières

Informations générales

Médecins sans frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF assists people based on need irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. In more than 70 countries, Médecins Sans Frontières provides medical humanitarian assistance to save lives and ease the suffering of people in crisis situations.

MSF was founded in 1971 in Paris by a group of journalists and doctors. Today, we are a worldwide movement of nearly 65,000 people.


MSF website: www.msf.org

MSF noma website (EN, AR, DE): http://www.noma.msf.org

Claire Jeantet – Noma Campaign Manager:

MSF noma medical activities

MSF is part of a collective effort to tackle noma in Nigeria, together with the Federal Ministry of Health and other international organisations and agencies.

In Sokoto, northwest Nigeria, MSF has worked in collaboration with the Ministry of Health since 2014. MSF’s noma programmes include:

  • providing treatment for people in the first stages of the disease
  • nutritional support
  • mental health support
  • reconstructive surgery for noma survivors living with severe facial disfigurements. Four times a year, a team of international surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses travel to Sokoto to operate on noma patients alongside Nigerian surgeons.
  • outreach with a focus on detection and treatment in Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and Zamfara states. Patients treated at the hospital come from all over Nigeria, not only Sokoto and neighbouring states, and include people referred from other MSF projects in the country. 
Since the beginning of the project 789 free of charge surgeries were performed for 550 noma patients. In 2019, teams performed 178 surgeries on 129 patients. In 2020, surgeries were reduced as COVID-19 travel and other restrictions impacted the project, nonetheless 81 surgeries were performed on 73 patients.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for the World Health Organization (WHO) to recognise noma as a Neglected Tropical Disease

MSF noma research

MSF noma advocacy & communication

From 2016, MSF gave access to its Sokoto project to Inediz filmmakers to document the stories of noma survivors. This partnership has evolved into a global strategy to bring recognition to noma thanks to tools developed jointly:

  • An award-winning long form documentary, Restoring Dignity (52 min., 2018)
  • A website dedicated to sharing knowledge about the disease and patients’ stories
  • A country-wide tour of Nigeria to start a debate about noma (2019)
  • A short film selected for the Health for All film festival organized by WHO (4min.30, 2020)
  • Over 50 in person and online events for medical and non-medical audiences since 2019

On 11 February, 2021, MSF held an online conference on noma, in partnership with the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD). The conference is aimed at researchers, medical practitioners, NTD donors, health-focused humanitarian and development organisations, UN officials and other policy makers. The event shared research findings on noma based on growing scientific literature, to expand the knowledge of the disease and the network of people advocating for its inclusion on the WHO Neglected Tropical Disease list. The event gathered 946 delegates from 94 countries and its recording is available here.