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One in 20 Indians hit by rare diseases

onein20Nearly 3.7 million of the 70 million suffering from rare diseases are from Karnataka

A Hindi movie in 2009 depicted the poignant story of a child suffering from a genetic condition, Progeria, that causes premature ageing. The subsequent year, another movie showed the life of a person living with an autism disorder that causes difficulty in communication and social interaction called Asperger Syndrome.

‘Both these conditions have been categorised as “rare, complex life-threatening diseases” that affect less than 0.1 per cent of the population. It is estimated that one in 20 Indians is affected by one of the 7,000 diseases listed “rare diseases.” Nearly 3.7 million of the 70 million Indians suffering from rare diseases are from Karnataka.

Noticing an increase in the incidence of these rare diseases, especially among children, the recent State Budget has proposed to set up a special treatment unit in the city-based Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health. February 28 is observed as World Rare Disease Day.


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