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UK Ramadan diabetes campaign underway

A new campaign that aims to raise awareness of the risks associated with type 2 diabetes and fasting ahead of Ramadan is underway across the UK.
Organised by charity Silver Star, the ‘Staying Healthy During Ramadan’ initiative involves local GPs visiting mosques to Muslims with type 2 diabetes to speak to their doctor if they plan to fast during the Islamic holy month so that they are aware of the dangers, as well as what precautions can be taken to prevent blood glucose levels from going either too low or too high.
Nurses are also present at the events to provide blood glucose tests using Silver Star’s mobile diabetes units and help advise people on the safest way to observe Ramada, which in the UK starts on July 9.
“Many people of South Asian descent have an increased risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes and a high proportion of South Asian people are Muslim,” said Dr Wasim Hanif, diabetes clinical lead at the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
He explained: “Fasting during Ramadan can affect blood sugar levels as neither food nor drink is consumed between pre-sunrise and sunset over a 30 day period in July and early August. Long gaps between eating mean that the risk of experiencing low blood glucose levels is increased.”
Educational meetings have already been held at mosques in Birmingham, Bradford, Leicester and Rotherham this month, and over the next two weeks similar events will take place in Cardiff (South Wales Islamic Centre), London (East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre and the Harrow Central Mosque) and Manchester (Manchester Central Mosque).

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