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Fasting safely in the time of COVID-19

18th May 2021

With the second COVID-19-era Ramadan now ended, Professor Wasim Hanif presents detailed guidance on supporting people with diabetes to fast safely during a pandemic.

At the end of his presentation, Professor Hanif shares several sayings from the prophet Muhammad. One of these reads “ ‘Your soul, indeed, has rights on you!’ (Bukhari) Among its rights is your protecting it from harm.”

Exemption from the religious duty to fast on health grounds – including for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes – is well established. Yet many people with diabetes still choose to fast. Supporting those who can to do so safely is an important aspect of diabetes education which healthcare professionals need to have the knowledge and cultural competence to provide.

With over 20 years of experience researching into this subject, Professor Wasim Hanif’s competence in this area is beyond question (check out his contributions to our own course on Diabetes and Ramadan). But COVID-19 adds a whole new dimension of complexity – and urgency – to the mix, not least because of the overlap of vulnerability to COVID-19 infection among those with diabetes, and those in Muslim populations.

Addressing these head on, Professor Hanif sets out a risk stratification for those people who wish to fast during the pandemic – as well as exploring issues around the importance of regular monitoring, what adjustments to make to medications and particular issues around SGLT-2 inhibitors.

Click here to watch Professor Hanif’s presentation.