Bengaluru: The Organization for Rare Diseases India (ORDI), a non-profit organization committed to addressing the challenges of the rare disease community in the country, on Thursday announced the launch of 2017 Race for 7.
Launched in 2016, Race for 7 is a 7000-metre run/walk to raise awareness for the 7000 documented rare diseases and the intent is to target 7000 participants, each to represent one of the seven thousand rare diseases. The event will be held on February 26 to commemorate Rare Disease Day.
“Rare diseases are not really as rare as we think there are. It is estimated that there are 70 million rare disease patients in India and one out of every twenty Indians suffer from a rare disease,” said Prasanna Shirol, Founder Member, ORDI and father of a patient with a rare disease. “Through Race for 7, we want to amplify the voice of rare disease patients so that there is greater awareness created about the needs and challenges of the rare disease community. We invite the public to come out in large numbers to share their support for rare disease patients and their caregivers.”
The biggest challenge rare disease patients face is diagnosis, treatment and access to affordable care. It takes on an average seven years for a rare disease to be diagnosed. “Eighty percent of rare diseases are genetic in origin while the rest is the result of infections (bacterial or viral), allergies and environmental causes. Fifty percent of patients are children who rarely make it past their fifth birthday due to their illness and resultant complications” said Dr Meenakshi Bhat, Consultant in Clinical Genetics, Centre for Human Genetics.
The theme for this year’s Rare Disease Day is ‘With Research Possibilities are Endless’ to highlight the importance of research