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World Health Organization (WHO) Issues Landmark Migraine Disease and Headache Disorder Report

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On the first anniversary of the World Health Organization Meeting on Headache and Related Disorders, held in Geneva, Switzerland, MAGNUM makes available the WHO Education and Management Implications Report which was issued as a result of the meeting.

Please take the time to peruse this WHO report issued last Fall in London at Headache 2000. This report is the result of an official Meeting on Headache and Related Disorders, held at World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, 13-14 March 2000. MAGNUM was proud to be the Non-Government Organization (NGO) to represent the United States of America in Geneva for this meeting. Other Americans: Dr. Fred Sheftell, Chairman of the World Headache Alliance (WHA), President of the American Council for Headache Education (ACHE), Director of the New England Center for Headache, as well as MAGNUM’s Medical Advisor Chair; and Dr. Richard Lipton, President of the American Headache Society (AHS) and America’s leading Migraine disease and headache disorder epidemiologist, where also in attendance.

According to this key document, Migraine and headache disorders generate a substantial disability burden and should be classified amongst major public health disorders. But there remains a specific lack of public and professional awareness of the epidemiology of Migraine and headache disorders and their impact on individual sufferers, their caregivers, family and colleagues, and on society itself. This WHO report notes that a considerable number of international and national NGOs active in the Migraine and headache disorder field have achieved much to improve recognition of headache disorders. However, without the committed support of organizations such as the WHO it will not be possible to change public perception across the globe. This blue book report provides recommendations for joint action by the WHO, medical orgaziations, and NGO’s like ACHE and MAGNUM for relieving the burden of Migraine disease and headache disorders world-wide. Please take the time to review this document. This is a striking change in the medical committee’s perception of Migraine and head-pain since MAGNUM was founded nearly a decade ago. We are grateful to the World Health Organization and all those who participated in preparing this groundbreaking document. This aggressive move by the international medical community shows that leaders in healthcare are listening to the advocates. As advocates we are very grateful the doctors, scientists, and government officials who provide us and other NGOs with the tools we need to improve the quality of life for Migraineurs and headache disorder sufferers here in the United States and around the world.

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