Twenty-four percent Czechs suffer from migraine - half of them never seedoctor

06-10-2003

About eighteen percent of women and six percent of men are affected by migraine - that statistic is valid worldwide. In this country, between 300,000 and 400,000 people are affected by that severe and usually one-sided form of headache, frequently associated with nausea and vomiting. Although this chronic and recurring disease makes people's life extremely miserable, as much as 50 percent of migraine sufferers never consult a doctor. Dr Tomas Melichar is behind a new project that tries to make access to treatment easier for migraine patients in the Czech Republic.

"I believe it is a historical legacy because most of the people who suffer from headaches or migraines are not aware of the possibility to go to the doctor. Or they in the past went to the doctor to ask for treatment and their complaints were neglected by the doctor."

Even those migraine sufferers too shy to see a doctor about their headache now have round-the-clock access to information about their disease and a chance to contact a headache specialist quickly and easily. Dr Tomas Melichar explains what a new project called "Makovice" (a slang word for head) is all about.

"We have analysed that most of the population that suffer from migraines or other kind of headaches don't go to the doctor's to be diagnosed, to ask for treatment, they use self-medication. So we have decided to address these patients, to advertise directly to these patients the option to diagnose and to treat their headache correctly. And that is what "Makovice" is about. We have a call-centre, a toll-free line and we have a website specially dedicated to this project. The patient receives information about migraine, he can make a self-diagnosis and could be referred to a centre that was developed for the purpose of this project. By now we have developed 75 centres for headache treatment. The patients can be referred to the centres, they can be diagnosed by specially educated and trained medical doctors, neurologists mainly, and will be appropriately treated."

The toll-free line for migraine sufferers in the Czech Republic is 800555430. You can make an appointment with a headache specialist near you through the website, www.bolestihlavy.cz.

06-10-2003