Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February each year.
The main objective of Rare Disease Day 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 and also seeks to raise awareness amongst policy makers, public authorities, 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, 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 political momentum resulting from Rare Disease Day also serves advocacy purposes. It has notably contributed to the advancement of national plans and policies for rare diseases in a number of countries.
Even though the campaign started as a European event, it has progressively become a world phenomenon, with the USA joining in 2009, and participation in a record-breaking 84 countries around the world in 2014. We hope many more will join in 2015. Some countries have decided to raise rare disease awareness further, for example, Spain declared 2013 as the National Year for Rare Diseases.
Our objective is for the World Health Organization to recognise the last day of February as the official Rare Disease Day and to raise increasing awareness for Rare Diseases worldwide.
On rarediseaseday.org you can find information about the thousands of events happening around the world to build awareness for people living with a rare disease and their families.
This year's theme is "Raise & Join Hands for Rare Disease Day" to symbolize your solidarity in support of those 1 in 10 individuals living with rare disease. Whether you are with your family at home, 10 people in an office, 100 people at a conference or 1000 people at a public gathering: RAISE AND JOIN HANDS to show your solidarity with rare disease patients around the world! Help us show we are all mobilised for people living with rare diseases and driven by the same objectives.
Please share your photos on our FB page and upload here on the Rare website. (Remember to specify the location and the country where the photo was taken.)