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Pfizer Collaborates with Regional Experts to Enhance Understanding of Migraine

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Pfizer, a leading pharmaceutical company dedicated to advancing global healthcare, hosted a virtual press conference in observance of International Migraine Awareness Month, bringing together experts from the region to address the pressing issue of migraine from a personal and socioeconomic perspective.

Pfizer Collaborates with Regional Experts to Enhance Understanding of Migraine

International Migraine Awareness Month, held in June, raises awareness about migraine, a neurological condition affecting millions worldwide. The campaign dispels myths, provides resources, and fosters understanding through educational efforts, community outreach, and online support. It aims to create an empathetic environment for migraine sufferers, improve their lives, and work towards effective management and reduced impact of migraine.


Migraine impacts approximately one billion people worldwide and nearly one-third of the Arab population. It’s a condition often dismissed as “just a headache”, but migraine sufferers have multiple symptoms, most notably pulsating headaches of moderate to severe pain lasting from four to 72 hours, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to sound and light. Despite being the second leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease is still misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and stigmatised.


Despite their crippling effects, migraine remains overlooked, with only 40% of sufferers professionally diagnosed. Misconceptions around migraine being “just” a headache often led to patients invalidating their symptoms. Poor treatment outcomes also contribute to this; more than two-thirds of people living with migraine have either never consulted a physician or have stopped doing so due to low treatment expectations.


People with migraine bear the financial burden of medical costs, including doctor visits and treatments. This disproportionately affects underprivileged communities in the Middle East and Africa, which already have competing priorities. On average, migraine sufferers miss 4.5 working days per month, adding to the economic costs.


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Migraine affects individuals and alsimpactsct work productivity and absenteeism, leading to significant financial consequences for employers and society. Migraine contributes more to the global economic burden than all other neurological conditions combined, where women are three to four times more affected by migraine globally.


Dr Walid Alesefir, Consultant Neurologist, headache specialist, and assistant professor of Neurology in Saudi Arabia, commented: "As a neurologist, I see daily the unmet needs of migraine patients. Migraine is a complex condition that requires comprehensive management and effective treatment. Raising awareness and addressing patients' needs can greatly improve their quality of life. Providing optimal care and relief can significantly impact migraine patients' well-being."

Dr Suhail Alrukn, Consultant Neurology at City Hospital, Mediclinic, UAE, commented: "Migraine is not just a headache. It is a complex neurological condition characterised by severe pain and symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Identifying migraine involves recognising pulsating pain on one side of the head, worsened by physical activity. Triggers can vary, including certain foods, hormonal changes, stress, and environmental factors. Seeking medical attention is crucial for accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment.”

Dr Mohamed Osama Abdelghany, Chairman of the Egyptian Headache Chapter and Professor of Neurology at Ain Shams University, Egypt, commented: "Raising awareness and ensuring early diagnosis is key in addressing migraine. With over one billion affected globally, understanding their prevalence is crucial. If you experience recurrent or severe migraine, it's advisable to consult a neurologist for specialised care. We are dedicated to collaborating with healthcare communities to raise awareness and promote timely diagnosis, improving the well-being of individuals living with migraine."

"Migraine is a complex and debilitating condition that affects millions of lives. During Migraine Awareness Month, we acknowledge the significance of driving meaningful change. By raising awareness, dispelling misconceptions, and reducing the stigma surrounding migraine, we strive to improve the lives of those impacted. Together with healthcare professionals and organisations, we are dedicated to enhancing education, diagnosis, and management, and ultimately making a positive impact on the personal and socioeconomic aspects of migraine”, concluded Mohamed Fathy Soliman Gamaleldin, Internal Medicine MERA Regional Medical Lead, Pfizer.


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