For a serious neurological disease that causes debilitating headaches and other symptoms and leaves patients incapacitated for days, migraine often gets overlooked or goes undetected and untreated. While most patients brush the symptoms aside as ‘just’ a headache, a migraine is actually much more than just a bad headache.
In a bid to shed more light on migraine symptoms, triggers, treatments, social impact and common misconceptions, Gulf News, in partnership with pharmaceutical giant Novartis, is launching a series of podcasts on the condition. Across six episodes, the podcast series will feature leading neurologists in conversation with long-time migraine sufferers, discussing various related topics such as the difference between a headache and a migraine, why women are more likely to be affected by the condition than men, the impact on a sufferer’s social and work life, as well as common misconceptions and possible treatment options.
“We want to be present where our target audience is and where they can easily resonate with our content," says Joy Khoury, Head of Communications and Patient Advocacy at Novartis Gulf. "Since the use of podcasts is the new source of information and a growing channel that is widely used in this region, we choose this medium to reach out to the masses and shed light on the burden of migraine, its misconceptions, and triggers. Through this six-episode podcast series we hope to empower and mobilise migraine sufferers to prevent their migraines and foster an effective dialogue and expectation with their healthcare provider.”
Stressing the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment, Dr Abubaker Almadani, leading Consultant Neurologist and Neuromuscular Specialist, says: “Migraines can sometimes go undiagnosed or untreated. If you experience regular headaches, it would surely help to inform your doctor about them. You might associate some headaches with workload stress, hypertension, or sleep deprivation. But if these headache episodes are repeated, a doctor would deem it necessary to examine in detail, go deep in the history, to find out whether it is migraine-related or if there is another reason.”
Gulf News launched its first-ever commercial podcast, MS Talks - Keep Moving Forward, an in-depth five-part series on multiple sclerosis in partnership with Novartis earlier this year. The series was hosted by Muna Al Harbi, an MS patient, and covered the challenges of living with the disease and how to manage them.
“As part of our commitment to put patients at the centre of everything that we do, we collaborated with Gulf News in our first podcast series, MS Talks – Keep Moving Forward," adds Khoury. "We received widespread recognition for this campaign because we were able to reach a larger audience that could relate to the content, which fuelled our mission to enable people living with multiple sclerosis to live free from the impact of the disease.”
MS Talks - Keep Moving Forward
- From denial and fear to empowerment: an MS patient’s inspiring journey
- Out today: Episode 2 - all you need to know about multiple sclerosis
- Watch now: Why a strong relationship with your MS specialist is crucial
- Watch now: How to support people taking care of MS patients
- Out now: How to lead a fulfilling life with MS
The podcasts, a bold new venture for the region’s leading English newspaper, have turned out to be a resounding success, with impressive levels of audience engagement. “Given the success of our first MS Talks podcast campaign, we believe Gulf News has been a true partner in executing the idea and we were able to engage and educate the audience on this disease and its impact through their reach," says Khoury. "We are excited to partner again with Gulf News as we dive into the topic of migraine and how this prevailing condition can be debilitating but is manageable if the sufferers have the right knowledge and awareness.”
The first episode of Mind your Migraine podcast series drops on May 25 and will be available at Gulfnews.com/mind-your-migraine as well as leading podcast channels.