When the world on Sunday the 16th Marking World Rare Disease Day, Pope Francis raised his voice in prayer for the many people, especially children, affected by a rare disease

After the Angelus prayer, the Pope also thanked the medical researchers for their work in diagnosing and discovering treatments for rare diseases

“In dealing with a rare disease, solidarity networks are more important than ever,” he said. “They help people not feel alone and encourage the exchange of experiences and advice”

Pope Francis also expressed his closeness to the sick, especially the children, and their families

He urged everyone to “be close to sick children who are suffering, pray for them and help them feel the caress of God’s love and tenderness”

“Let us pray for all people who have a rare disease,” said the Pope. “We pray especially for children who suffer”

Separately, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development issued a message on Sunday calling for the protection of the most vulnerable members of society

Cardinal Peter Turkson stated that over 6000 diseases are considered “rare” and most (72%) are hereditary, while 70% start in childhood

He said that people with rare diseases “are among the most vulnerable groups in society. They suffer from diseases that are often incurable and are usually lifelong and degenerative

The Cardinal complained that many of these diseases are often neglected by medicine and therefore difficult to diagnose and treat. As a result, you and your families do not have access to adequate educational, economic and social welfare

“All of this prevents our dear brothers and sisters from integrating into society, fulfilling their potential, actively participating in family, work and social life, which is essential for the development of their personalities, and thus increasing discrimination and loneliness generate ”

Cardinal Turkson said the Covid-19 pandemic had exacerbated many of these difficulties, making it even more difficult to obtain treatment and adequate care

Therefore, the Cardinal urged policymakers and institutions to “guarantee the right to health for all people”, especially those suffering from rare diseases

He said this could be achieved by promoting “international collaboration, knowledge sharing, and more sustainable and resilient health systems that do not forget the needs of the most vulnerable and leave no one behind”

The Cardinal Prefect further noted that a culture of care can only result from “promoting the dignity of every human being, solidarity with the poor and defenseless, the common good and protecting creation”

He said a more humane society can be built by providing inclusive access to health care for people with rare diseases

Finally, Cardinal Turkson encouraged Christians to take this Lent to “cultivate hope and love those who suffer, forsaken, and despair”

“With these words I close this short message,” said the Cardinal, “and entrust Mary, Mother of Mercy and the Health of the Sick, to all those affected by a rare disease, their families, those who who lovingly care for them and all those who do their best to protect and recognize their right to care and a fulfilling life ”

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Source: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-02/pope-francis-cardinal-turkson-message-world-rare-diseases-day.html