Rare Disease Day

What is Rare Disease Day?

Rare Disease DayHeld 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 over 100 countries around the world participating in 2019. Our objective is for the World Health Organization to recognise the last day of February as the official Rare Disease Day.

Thank you to all donors supporting Rare Disease Day through EURORDIS International Initiatives.

EURORDIS Rare Disease Day 2020 events listed here.

Visit the Rare Disease Day website

See highlights from past editions of Rare Disease Day


Watch the Spirit of Rare Disease Day interactive webinar recording  

View the Spirit of Rare Disease Day webinar presentation


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EURORDIS thanks Publicis LifeBrands International – Paris for their in-kind support to Rare Disease Day's international campaign since 2016.

Burson Marsteller

EURORDIS thanks Burson-Marsteller for their ongoing in kind support for EURORDIS' Rare Disease Day Policy Event in Brussels.

Rare Disease Day 2021 was organised with the support of:


Page created: 23/07/2013
Page last updated: 16/06/2022
The voice of rare disease patients in EuropeEURORDIS The international voice of people living with rare diseases, Rare Diseases International is a EURORDIS initiativeRare Disease International Bringing together patients, families and experts to share experiences in a moderated multilanguage forum, RareConnect is a EURORDIS initiative RareConnect The Rare Barometer Programme is a EURORDIS initiative that carries out surveys to transform rare disease patients' experiences into figures and facts that can be shared with decision-makers.Rare Barometer An international awareness raising campaign taking place on the last day of February each year, Rare Disease Day is a EURORDIS initiativeRare Disease Day Join the largest gathering of rare disease stakeholders across Europe, at the biennial European Conference on Rare Diseases and Orphan Products. ECRD is a EURORDIS initiativeEuropean Conference on Rare Diseases