The Rare Diamond Awards Gala Dinner took place on 15 September 2018 at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways. Created by Rare Diseases South Africa, the Rare Diamond Awards recognise excellence in advancement of overall healthcare, treatment and support offered by those working within the rare diseases community.
The winners in the categories Rare Diamond in Advocacy, Rare Diamond in Healthcare, Rare Diamond Project, Rare Diamond Support Group, Rare Diamond Tribute and Rare Diamond Warrior were awarded to Dr Helen Malherbe, Dr Fiona Kritzinger, Sue van der Linde (Iris House Children’s Hospice), Tasnim Jadwat (CureSMA), Melissa Platt and Ashleigh Paterson respectively.
Back Row: (L to R) Tasnim Jadwat (CureSMA), Sue van der Linde (Iris House Children’s Hospice), Dr Helen Malherbe, Melissa Platt, Dr Fiona Kritzinger; and Front Row: Ashleigh Paterson.
No such national awards exist within the healthcare sector, with entries welcomed from a wide range of patients, caregivers, industry partners and fellow healthcare professionals as well as individuals that have made a positive impact on the rare disease community.
The Rare Diamond Awards were attended by some of the leading healthcare professionals and healthcare academia in SA, as well as patients, support groups, industry members, and organ of state representatives, and was run in conjunction with the second biennial Rare Diseases Conference (RareX 2018).
The purpose of the conference was to provide a forum for rare disease patients, doctors, and stakeholders to connect and collaborate, and to facilitate an ongoing dialogue for rare diseases and their treatment.
An important part of the conference community are the patient support groups that attended. While disease- or condition-specific, support groups share missions and objectives and learn from each other’s outreach techniques and fundraising methods and see how other groups serve their communities’ needs.
Via panel discussions, presentations, and networking, the conference presented a comprehensive dialogue which provided insightful guidance to the rare diseases community.