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Genetic Awareness: Rare Disease Day 2020

20 Feb 2020 - 15:15

The 29th February will mark the 13th annual international Rare Disease Day. South Africa first participated in Rare Disease Day in 2010 with the primary focus being on raising awareness of rare diseases amongst the general public. Human Genetics will once again be getting involved in supporting and assisting Rare Diseases SA in their efforts to raise awareness about rare diseases and rare disease research. 

Did you know that rare diseases affect more people that AIDS and cancer combined? Or that there are approximately 7,000 different types of rare diseases and disorders, with more being discovered each day? In South Africa, there are approximately 3.7-million people living with a rare disease. Rare diseases are individually rare but are collectively common.

On Friday 28th February, we will be hosting an awareness day at Red Cross Hospital from 8-12am. There will be resources from a number of patient support groups and it's a great opportunity to find out more about the rare disease that they represent. There will be ribbons and baked goods on sale and all funds raised will go towards supporting patients and families affected by rare diseases.  

In addition, in order to assist in their fundraising campaign for Rare Disease Day, we will once again be selling ribbons, for R10 each, if anyone would like to get involved in this great cause.  We would also like to encourage everyone who has bought ribbons to wear jeans on Friday 28th February in support of “Jeans4Genes”.  If you would like to wear your favorite pair of jeans on Friday, 28 February please purchase a ribbon for R10 through the Division of Human Genetics.

Let’s raise awareness and support this fantastic cause. A cause that is doing great work and supporting many of our genetics patients. Please contact us to arrange to purchase a ribbon for you, or better, your whole department! Arrangements can also be made for ribbons to be brought through to your department.

All funds raised will go towards accessing care for rare disease patients across South Africa. For more information visit