Strengthening Patient Organizations Globally

The Strengthening Patient Organizations Globally (SPOG) project of the World Headache Alliance (2003-2004) sought to promote best practice in health-care provision for headache disorders. SPOG was the theme of the 3rd WHA Global Convention held in Rome, Italy in September 2003.You can read more about the SPOG project in the three papers below. Download all three, as well as an introduction below.

This paper is a case study. Its purpose is to illustrate, in a country-specific context, how the case for improved health care for headache towards best practice might be mounted in order to persuade policy-makers of the need for change. Although many aspects of the case are unique to the UK, it is hoped that the approach, and the general issues raised and dealt with, will be useful as an example to groups elsewhere who are seeking to plan and implement best practice in headache care.

Introduction to SPOG

This paper reports part of the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Global Burden of Disease reported in the World Health Report 2001. This key WHO publication discusses and endeavors to quantify the burdens attributable to more than 135 health conditions including migraine. The report found that migraine is in the top 20 causes of years lost to disability, representing almost 0.5% of the total burden of disease worldwide.

WHA believes that lay organizations play an important role in raising awareness. Armed with the scientific evidence, they are particularly well-placed to transfer the core message to their members, communities and governments that headache disorders are real, ubiquitous, common, burdensome and treatable. This paper outlines WHA’s experiences, activities and plans towards achieving these aims