Noma – no more: Aissa’s new face

Aissa when she arrived on the Africa Mercy in April 2010.
Aissa when she arrived on the Africa Mercy in April 2010.
Aissa as she heads home to greet village, family and a new life.
Aissa as she heads home to greet village, family and a new life.

Seven-year-old Aissa weighed 11 kg when she arrived onboard the Mercy Ship where a team of maxillo-facial surgeons reconstructed her face ravaged by noma, a flesh eating disease.

Walking down a street in Cameroon, West Africa, physician’s assistant Sarah Root noticed a little girl with a dirty rag wrapped around her head, covered in flies.

When Sarah uncovered Aissa’s face, she almost recoiled at the appalling sight. A wound extended from the child's right eye to her jaw and from the corner of her lip to her ear. A hole gaped where the skin had been eaten away, and swelling closed her right eye.

Noma! A flesh-eating disease born of poverty - u