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Rare Disease Day 2024: All you need to know about rare disease communities

Rare Disease Day 2024 is vital to spreading awareness about rare diseases. This extraordinary day is observed on the last day of February and it presents a unique opportunity

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Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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Rare Diseases of the world may not be so popular in public imagination, even when they ought to. Since these diseases don’t affect many people, it may not be a part of the mainstream news, making it hard for us to know about them. In any case, rare diseases can be dangerous and cost a lot of lives. 

Rare Disease Day is observed every year to spread awareness about the rare diseases that exist and what they can mean for the day-to-day routines of the patients. As we gear up to mark this day during the current year, the following are a couple of realities that we should be familiar with.

Rare Disease Day 2024: History

In the year 2008, EURORDIS, with the Council of National Alliances declared that Rare Diseases Day be observed on February 29 considering the rarity of the date in the calendar. In the first year of celebration, Rare Disease Day saw cooperation from eighteen nations in Europe. From that point forward, Rare Disease Day has been observed every year on the last day of February.

Rare Disease Day is held every year on the last day of February. It is celebrated on February 28. But, since the year 2024 is a leap year, this year it is being observed on February 29, Thursday. 

Rare Disease Day 2024: Importance

“One out of every 10 Americans is living with a rare disease. Worldwide, there are more than 300 million people with rare diseases. Too often, these individuals and families are left isolated and without answers to their medical questions. It doesn't have to be that way. Rare Disease Day is a global initiative to raise awareness and generate support for everyone who is on a rare medical journey. It takes place on the last day of February, which this year is February 29th, the rarest day of the year," as per the official website of the National Organisation for Rare Diseases, 

This Day promotes dignity and legitimacy and reminds the public that rare disease is a worldwide health concern. Since an illness is rare doesn't imply that it merits any less consideration than other more recognizable health issues. 

RDD permits smaller rare disease populations to frame partnerships, diminishing feelings of detachment, misconception and loneliness. In spite of the fact that you and I might not have similar uncommon sickness, our experiences can be relatable and numerous shared commonalities exist.

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First Published: Feb 28 2024 | 7:44 AM IST

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