28 February 2014 marks the seventh international Rare Disease Day coordinated by EURORDIS. On and around this day hundreds of patient organisations from more than 70 countries and regions worldwide are planning awareness-raising activities around the slogan “Join Together for Better Care”.
Rare Disease Day is an annual, awareness-raising event co-ordinated by EURORDIS at the international level and by National Alliances and Patient Organisations at the national level. Its main objective is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives. The campaign targets primarily the general public but it is also designed for patients and patient representatives, as well as politicians, public authorities, policy-makers, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.
Since Rare Disease Day was first launched by EURORDIS and its Council of National Alliances in 2008, more than 1000 events have taken place throughout the world reaching hundreds of thousands of people and resulting in a great deal of media coverage.
Even though the campaign started as a European event, it has progressively become a world event, with over 70 countries participating in 2013. We hope many more will join in 2014. Our objective is for the WHO to recognise the last day of February as the official Rare Disease Day and to raise increasing awareness for Rare Diseases worldwide.
Theme: Care – Slogan: Join Together for Better Care
Caring for people living with a rare disease has many facets. Some patients have access to medicines while others have no treatment available. Some patients are fairly independent while others require intensive physical assistance and equipment. Care can consist of special equipment, expert medical consultation, physical therapy, social services, medicines, respite for family members, and much more. For most children and adults living with a rare disease, primary care is provided by family members.
Rare Disease Day 2014 focuses on care and encourages everyone in the rare disease community to Join Together for Better Care.