At least 60,000 Cypriots suffer from a rare disease President of the Rare Diseases Alliance Androulla Eleftheriou said on the occasion of an awareness event marking Rare Disease Day on Friday.
House President Demetris Syllouris also marked Rare Disease Day in an address to the plenary. He spoke of the need to raise awareness and exert pressure so that every country’s health system adapts to rare disease sufferers and aim to cure them.
Syllouris said that in 2018 Rare Disease Day is dedicated to the importance of access to holistic care services and to the value of research and exchange of knowledge and resources between EU member states aiming to improve patients’ health and quality of life.
During the awareness event, which took place in Nicosia, Eleftheriou said that a disease is considered to be rare if it affects less than 1 in 2,000 people, adding that for the time being there are 6,000 – 8,000 different rare diseases.
At least 60,000 Cypriots suffer from rare diseases, she said.
In Cyprus, the National Committee on Rare Diseases has undertaken the task of overseeing the implementation of the National Strategy of Rare Diseases, she noted. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Christina Yiannaki has been appointed to head the Committee.
Addressing the event, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the ministry offers services for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of several rare diseases through the specialised clinics, hospitals and scientific centres of both the public and the private sector.
The ministry, Ioannou added has always supported in various ways specialisation on rare diseases.