Ramadan Mubarak

As Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan, the NHS has shared a reminder about how to stay safe and healthy during the holy month.

Ramadan started on Sunday 10 March and many Muslims are now fasting and not eating or drinking during daylight hours.

Fasting during Ramadan can be challenging, especially for those living with a long-term health condition such as diabetes, those who take prescribed medicines or anyone who needs a medical appointment during the holy month.

Do you take prescribed medicines? 

Remember to continue to take prescribed medicines during Ramadan but do check with your GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times you take them changed.

Do you have a medical appointment?

If you have a medical appointment booked during Ramadan, it is very important that you attend. If you need to adjust the time of your appointment, please contact the relevant healthcare organisation to do so.

It’s important to remember that there are several exemptions allowed to fasting. Those with increased risk of contracting Covid-19 should consider alternative options. These include those who are unwell due to conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or those who are on medication, pregnant or elderly.

Do you have a long-term health condition?

Having a medical condition doesn’t mean you can’t fast, but you may need to take precautions such as reviewing your medication and closely monitoring how you feeling. There is also an exemption for people with diabetes, especially for those on insulin or those with any medical complications. If you have diabetes and want to fast during Ramadan, please speak to your GP or diabetes nurse about the safest way to do this. If you monitor your blood glucose levels, you should continue to do so while fasting.

Are you due an MMR vaccine?

Vaccines play an important part in maintaining our health and with a rise of measles cases across Greater Manchester, getting your measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is really important. Measles is a highly infectious disease which be serious if it is not treated. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) scholars have confirmed that getting an MMR vaccine will not affect the fast, so if you or your child has missed the first or second dose of MMR vaccine, you should still have the vaccine during Ramadan to stay protected. In the UK, there are two types of MMR vaccines.

One of these, (Priorix®), does not contain pork and can be requested from your GP practice. Just simply give them a call to organise your pork free vaccine, protecting you and your family.

Have you become unwell during fasting?

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) advises that if you become unwell during Ramadan, you should stop fasting and seek medical advice. Your local pharmacy can offer advice and some medicines, and this can help you treat your condition yourself at home.

Pharmacists can also help you see the right person, if you need to see someone else. If you have a more serious illness, you should visit your GP practice website or NHS 111 online for advice. If you cannot access the internet, call 111 or your GP practice directly.

NHS 111 offers a British Sign Language (BSL) service that is open 24/7. Connect to a BSL interpreter here: https://signvideo.co.uk/nhs111/

It’s important to remember fasting is not considered compulsory for many groups, including people who are unwell, people with learning difficulties, people who are travelling and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating.

For more information on how people with diabetes can stay safe and well during Ramadan, please visit the Diabetes UK website.

More information about the MMR vaccine can be found on the NHS website.

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