Creating awareness!


Yesterday the World received a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the eleventh International Rare Disease Day.

What is rare disease day you ask? Well, rare disease day was established in the year 2008 to raise awareness amongst the public about rare diseases. Research claims that 1 in 20 people will develop a rare disease at some point in their life. Most of these diseases are incurable and some just go undiagnosed. Rare disease day therefore seeks to spread awareness and improve public knowledge about these diseases, while also encouraging researchers, medical experts, and decision makers to join hands and address the needs of patients living with rare diseases.

Like most things in the world it started as just an event held in Europe. As time progressed it became a globally celebrated event, with over 94 global countries in the year 2017. The first rare disease day event was celebrated on the 29th   of February, a “rare” date that only occurs once every four years. February was therefore deemed a “rare” month. Now this day is celebrated every year on the last day of February.


Everywhere around the world hundreds of patient’s organizations facilitated awareness-raising activities. Most institutions hosted small events to spread awareness and people got to paint their faces uniquely to stand out and be rare.

This day, since it has been established has managed to bring together some of the world’s greatest health organizations to unite against one mission; finding cures for these diseases. Worldwide researchers and medical experts are working hard to gather scientific knowledge and quality information on rare diseases. This research will help shed some light on the root causes, symptoms, possible prevention methods and it will also help policy makers establish better and accessible treatment procedures.


By Tebogo J. Mphatswe


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