Rare or orphan diseases are the least understood of all the categories of chronic diseases. Rare diseases
are more common than projected and globally they take away more lives than cancer and HIV combined.
Globally around 350 million people are estimated to live with a rare disease. Currently, there are 7000 rare diseases with newer ones being discovered each year. 80% of rare diseases have a genetic origin. Rare diseases may be single-gene disorders or multiple- gene disorders
. Almost 50% of those affected are children and 30% of these children will not live beyond the age of 5. It takes nearly 7 years to diagnose a rare disease. 95% of rare diseases do not have a cure.