Rare Disease Day
What is Rare Disease Day?
Held each year on the last day of February, Rare Disease Day is an annual awareness-raising event coordinated by EURORDIS. 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 the general public and also seeks to raise awareness amongst policy makers, public authorities, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and everyone with an 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, Rare Disease Day has progressively become a worldwide phenomenon, with the USA joining in 2009, and patient organisations in 85 countries around the world participating in 2015. Our objective is for the World Health Organization to recognise the last day of February as the official Rare Disease Day.
EURORDIS thanks Publicis LifeBrands International – Paris for their in-kind support to Rare Disease Day's international campaign (2016).
EURORDIS thanks Burson-Marsteller for their ongoing in kind support for EURORDIS' Rare Disease Day Policy Event in Brussels.