Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rare Disease Day

Today, the 28th of February is rare disease day.

On and around this day hundreds of patient organisations from more than 60 countries and regions worldwide are planning awareness-raising activities converging around the slogan “Rare Disorders without Borders” 

There are a surprisingly large number of rare diseases. Although individually they may be rare, between them they affect a lot of people and this is the 'paradox of rarity' - it is not unusual to have a rare disease. In Europe for example a 'rare' disease is defined as a disease that affects fewer than 1 in 2,000 people and yet about 30 million people, or between 6 and 8% of the European population suffer from a rare disease.

(Figures from “Rare Diseases: understanding this Public Health Priority”)

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