Lifting The Burden: The Global Campaign Against Headache

  • Timothy J. Steiner
  • Lars Jacob Stovner
  • Zaza Katsarava
  • Rigmor Jensen
  • Gretchen L. Birbeck
  • Paolo Martelletti
Reference work entry


Headache disorders are highly prevalent, ubiquitous, often lifelong and disabling. They are largely treatable, but everywhere are under-recognized, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. In many countries, they are simply not acknowledged as illnesses requiring health care, and in all countries they have low priority. The Global Campaign against Headache (GC), launched in collaboration with the World Health Organization, is a response to this public-health disaster.

This chapter briefly describes the origins of the Global Campaign, its vision and purpose, its structure and three stages, and its activities and achievements during the 7 years since its launch.


World Health Organization Headache Disorder International Headache Society Global Campaign Essential Medicine List 
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The collaborations underpinning these activities include WHO of course, its headquarters in Geneva and the Regional Offices for South East Asia and Western Pacific; they include IHS and, notably, its Russian Linguistic Subcommittee, EHF, WHA, WFN, and the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care (PaPaS) group of the Cochrane Collaboration. At national level they include: in Austria: Konventhospital Barmherzige Brüder, Linz; in Belgium: University of Ghent; in Brazil: the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, and Botucatu Medical School; in China: the Ministry of Health, the PLA General Hospital, Beijing, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, Xiaya Hospital of Centre-south University, Changsha, Affiliated Huashan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, and the First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun; in Denmark: the Danish Headache Centre, Glostrup, and the University of Copenhagen; in Ethiopia: the University of Addis Ababa; in France: Hôpital Pasteur, Nice, and Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris; in Georgia: Tbilisi Medical University; in Germany: the University of Essen and the Institute for Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich; in India: the National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore; in Italy: the National Neurological Institute C Mondino, Pavia, Sapienza University, Rome, Department of Neurology Policlinic of Monza, the University of Turin and the Neurological Institute Carlo Besta, Milan; in Japan: the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the International Headache Center, Kawasaki, Kanagawa; in Luxembourg: Centre de Recherche Public de la Santé; in Moldova: Chisinau State Medical and Pharmaceutical University; in the Netherlands: Medisch Centrum Boerhaave, Amsterdam; in Norway: the Norwegian National Headache Centre and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim; in Pakistan: DOW University of Health Sciences, Karachi; in Portugal: Hospital da Luz, Lisbon; in Russia: Setchenov Moscow Medical Academy and the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; in Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, and the Saudi Arabia National Guard; in Serbia: the Ministry of Health and the Institute of Neurology and School of Medicine, Belgrade; in Spain: University Clinic Hospital, Valencia University; in Sri Lanka: the University of Colombo; in United Arab Emirates: the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD); in the United Kingdom: Imperial College London, the City of London Migraine Clinic, the University of Oxford, and Isis Medical Media Ltd, Tonbridge; in the United States of America: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx NY, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston MA, Duke University, Durham NC, Geisinger Clinic, Center for Health Research, Danville PA, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI, the New England Center for Headache, Stamford CT, Park Nicollet Headache Clinic & Research Center, Minneapolis MN, Roosevelt Hospital, New York NY, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda MD, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC; in Zambia: Chainama Hills College Hospital, Lusaka. And at individual level, they include many people, far too numerous to list.

All of these, and the many sponsors, we warmly thank.

This chapter is based on two editorials published in Journal of Headache and Pain (Steiner 2005; Steiner et al. 2010).


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Copyright information

© Lifting The Burden 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Steiner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lars Jacob Stovner
    • 8
  • Zaza Katsarava
    • 3
  • Rigmor Jensen
    • 4
  • Gretchen L. Birbeck
    • 5
    • 6
  • Paolo Martelletti
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceFaculty of Medicine, Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Center for NeurologyUniversity of EssenEssenGermany
  4. 4.Danish Headache Centre and Department of NeurologyGlostrup Hospital, University of CopenhagenGlostrupDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology & NeurologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  6. 6.Chikankata Health ServicesMazabukaZambia
  7. 7.II Facoltà di MedicinaSchool of Health Sciences, Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  8. 8.Norwegian National Headache CentreNorwegian University of Science and Technology and St. Olavs HospitalTrondheimNorway

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