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Diabetes support kit during Ramadan

MSD has launched a patient support kit to provide advice and guidance to people with type 2 diabetes who are fasting during Ramadan

Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), in collaboration with the South Asian Health Foundation, has launched a patient information kit, 'The Facts about Fasting during Ramadan', to provide advice and guidance to people with type 2 diabetes who are fasting during Ramadan.

During Ramadan, almost 80 per cent of Muslims with type 2 diabetes will fast for at least 15 days. As Ramadan occurs in August, British Muslims face the challenge of up to 17 hours of daylight each day, during which eating and drinking is forbidden.

For people with type 2 diabetes, changes to eating patterns and decreased food intake can lead to hypoglycaemia, which, if left untreated, can lead to serious medical problems, including loss of consciousness, convulsions or seizures.

'The Facts about Fasting during Ramadan' information kit, provides useful tools including a blood sugar tracker to allow anyone who is fasting to record their glucose levels. The advice in the kit is based on Recommendations for Management of Diabetes during Ramadan from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Dr Wasim Hanif, consultant physician and honorary senior lecturer in diabetes and endocrinology at University Hospital Birmingham and chairman, Diabetes Working Group, South Asian Health Foundation said: "As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing in the Muslim community in the UK, the issues around fasting during Ramadan need to be addressed. This is further compounded by the fact that fasting in Ramadan during summer months can be as long as 20 hours and this may increase the risk of complications, especially hypoglycaemia.

"The education of patients and healthcare professionals to seek and provide education around this area needs to be improved. Patients should consult their healthcare professionals before fasting in Ramadan. The educational material developed as part of this campaign is a step in right direction to address this important issue."

The 'Facts About Fasting During Ramadan' kit (pdf) is available from the South Asian Health Foundation website.

11th July 2011

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