Current pain and headache reports 2017 11 1621(12) 51 doi 10.1007/s11916-017-0651-7
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
This review summarizes the unmet need of headache burden and management in resource-limited settings. It provides a general overview of the nuances and peculiarities of headache disorders in resource-limited settings. The review delivers perspectives and explanations for the emerging burden of both primary and secondary headache disorders. Important discussion on demographic and epidemiologic transition pertinent to low-resource settings is included. A critical analysis of headache disorders is made within the context of growing burden non-communicable disorders in low-resource countries. Challenges are examined and prospective feasible solutions tailored to existing resources are provided to address headache disorders in resource-limited settings.
Many low-resource countries are entering into the third epidemiological transition featuring increasing burden of non-communicable disorders of which headache disorders contribute a significant proportion. Exponential population growth involving youthful demographic and massive rural-urban migration is taking place in low-resource countries. Youthful demographic is the natural cohort for primary headache such as migraine. Socioeconomic mobility and lifestyle changes are leading to higher levels of physical inactivity and obesity, both of which are related to headache. Life expectancy is rising in some resource-restricted countries; this increases prevalence of secondary headache attributed to neurovascular causes. Many low-resource countries are still burdened with tropical infectious causes of secondary headache. Health care facilities are primarily designed to respond to infectious epidemic and not to chronic burden such as headache. Many low-resource-restricted settings are plagued by poor and corrupt governance, ill-equipped regimes with malfunctioning health policies, war, and poverty. Many low-resource settings do not have access to generic headache medications such as triptans. Headache training and expertise is low. Healthy lifestyle changes emphasizing on improving regular exercise can be inexpensive method to reducing primary headache burden and its comorbidities (e.g. obesity). Addressing the increasing burden of headache disorders in resource-limited settings is important to avert accrued disability which in turn lowers productivity and socioeconomic performance in a young booming population.