By IG Living
Rare Disease Day is the official international awareness-raising campaign for rare diseases that takes place on the last day of February each year. The main objective of the campaign is to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients' lives.
Rare Disease Day was launched by EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe and its Council of National Alliances in 2008. Since Rare Disease Day was first launched, thousands of events have taken place throughout the world reaching hundreds of thousands of people and resulting in a great deal of media coverage.
The campaign started as a European event and has progressively become a world phenomenon, with the U.S. joining in 2009 and participation in more than 100 countries all over the world in 2020. We hope even more will join in 2021. Some countries have decided to raise rare disease awareness further. For example, Spain declared 2013 as the National Year for Rare Diseases.
The first Rare Disease Day was celebrated in 2008 on February 29, a "rare" date that happens only once every four years. Since then, Rare Disease Day has taken place on the last day of February, a month known for having a "rare" number of days.
Raising Awareness of What It Means to Be Rare.
There are more than 300 million people worldwide living with a rare disease. Together across borders and across the 6,000-plus rare diseases, we work toward more equitable access to diagnosis, treatment, care and social opportunity. Our key message for Rare Disease Day 2021 is: Rare is many. Rare is strong. Rare is proud.
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