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Advocacy for patients with headache 

Advocacy for patients with headache
Chapter:
Advocacy for patients with headache
Author(s):

Timothy J. Steiner

, and Jes Olesen

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198796039.003.0029
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date: 17 October 2019

Despite irrefutable evidence of the high prevalence, burden, and cost of headache disorders, advocacy for headache—for more headache research and better headache care—has been largely in vain so far. Headache receives little respect and few resources. There are scientific, public health, and financial arguments for change, which are evidence-based and sound. They make compelling messages, which nonetheless have not yet reached the consciousness of health policymakers. Headache disorders are the least funded of all neurological disorders, while accounting for more disability than all other neurological disorders combined. This is a remediable failure. The worldwide programme of activities of the Global Campaign against Headache, and its collaboration with the Global Burden of Disease studies, are generating an unstoppable flow of evidence to support change. The World Health Organization has acknowledged the global public health importance of headache, and committed to advocacy on its behalf at macro level. A momentum is building. The arguments for change are, for now, unanswerable, but they have to be put to those who can make change happen, and repeated again and again. If they work with these organizations, the many national and supranational professional and lay groups will find previously closed doors are, at last, slowly opening.

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