Rare Diseases

The Year of the Zebra initiative was launched to spotlight rare diseases and help educate current and future healthcare professionals, caregivers, researchers, patients, family members, and the general public. Explore videos, patient education, clinical resources, and more.

About Year of the Zebra

2023 is the 40th anniversary of the Orphan Drug Act which gave hope to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who are directly affected by rare disorders (also known as "zebras," because they are less common than horses).

Elsevier Health launched an ambitious initiative called The Year of the Zebra to educate millions of current and future healthcare professionals, caregivers, researchers, patients, family members, and the general public about these zebras. We are inviting an exclusive group of organizations and individuals to adopt one or more zebras by contributing to the development and distribution of highly engaging and impactful educational content about those rare disorders that will collectively reach millions of people around the world.

Zebra of the Week Newsletter

Learn about a new rare disease every week with the Year of the Zebra newsletter.

Know Zebra-Email-Banner

In this heartfelt series of inspiring video testimonials, you'll hear directly from some of the 300 plus million amazing individuals worldwide who deal with rare diseases every single day. "I am a Zebra" features stories of people with rare diseases, while "I know a Zebra" showcases stories of those who know someone facing a rare disease.

Watch our I am a Zebra / I know a Zebra videos

Join us!

Your insights are invaluable. Share your testimonials, using the links below, to create engaging videos that will be featured on our Around the World page, providing resources for healthcare professionals and making a difference in the rare disease community.


Rare is an international, peer-reviewed open access journal, publishing research on direct clinical and psychosocial care, diagnosis, pharmacology, public policies or ethics. Now researchers, healthcare professionals, policy makers, and the rare disease community have a multidisciplinary open access scientific publication that covers all aspects of living with these disorders.

Editor in ChiefProf Dr Wendy van Zelst-Stams, Clinical geneticist and Head of the Clinical Genetics Section in the Department of Human Genetics at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, President of the Dutch Society of Clinical Genetics, and recently appointed Professor in Care for Rare.

Learn more about Rare

Visit ScienceDirect for more information about the journal and to explore articles.

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