Souleymane Moumouni, from the small village Falmey, works as a nurse in our children's house in Maradi/Niger. He knows exactly how much the little patients suffer - because Souleymane himself contracted noma as a small child. The bacteria ate a deep hole next to his nose. "Never in my life will I forget how much it hurt when first my skin, then the flesh and then the bone underneath decomposed." says Souleymane. "The pain was so sharp and burning, I was sure this is what dying felt like." Souleymane was operated on with the help of donations. And at the time, he was determined to give back some of the help and compassion he'd received at the clinic. "I want to help the Noma children - the way I was helped."
Nobody would have thought that Uma from Guinea-Bissau would ever make it this far. The girl fell seriously ill with noma at the age of four. The disease eroded her lower jaw and parts of her mouth. Uma could only eat in pain. For many years Uma had to live with her severe disfigurement - there were no doctors in Guinea-Bissau who could treat noma. After the construction of our noma hospital in Bissau, we could finally help the girl: Uma underwent a total of four operations. Today the seriously ill little girl has become a happy young woman. The 16-year-old has now started her training as a hairdresser in Bissau. At the same time she continues to go to school. Uma's boss Tanta de Barros is very impressed by the work of her apprentice.
Amari from Niger was brought to our children's home in Tahoua by her bitterly poor parents when the noma had already eaten a deep hole in her little face. Neither mother nor father had heard of the disease, they did not know what had happened to their girl. Amari was first brought back to a healthy weight. As soon as she was strong enough, she was taken to the noma hospital in Niamey. The team of doctors around Austrian plastic surgeon Dr. Harald Kubiena operated on the little one during an surgical campaign and closed the terrible noma wound. The scars have now healed well. Today little Amari can laugh again!
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