I have just returned from a surgical mission to Ethiopia with Facing Africa a British charity set up to treat children with noma. Every year, I travel with a team of surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses from Great Ormond Street Hospital and other leading British hospitals to treat children and young adults with this condition.
Noma is a condition that results in severe facial disfigurement. It is caused by a gum infection that rapidly spreads into the cheeks and lips. It only occurs in malnourished people that have no access to medical care. Today it is only commonly seen in sub Saharan Africa.
Facing Africa organises two missions a year to Ethiopia and undertakes about 100 complex reconstructions a year.
You can find out more about the work of Facing Africa at www.facingafrica.org