Although some diseases are rare, the number of people suffering from them is significant. There are between 6,000 and 8,000 rare diseases affecting a total of 6 to 8% of Belgian people.
Difficulties posed by rare diseases
Due to their scarcity, rare diseases can pose certain problems:
- difficulties in making a diagnosis (diagnostic errors)
- difficulties in finding an appropriate treatment
- the need for a multidisciplinary approach
- the need for specialist care (rare diseases are often disabling)
- the need for medical care, social care and assistance with day to day life.
All of these difficulties can be a source of psychological trauma for the person suffering from a rare disease and their family.