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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 84-95

Medical management of diabetes during ramadan fasting: Are physicians ready for the job?

1 Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2 Dubai Diabetes Center, Dubai;, UAE
3 Bab El Oued Hospital, Algiers, Algeria
4 Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
5 Service d’Endocrinologie et Maladies Métaboliques, CHU Ibn Rochd, Casablanca, Morocco
6 Health Plus, Abu Dhabi, UAE
7 Al Afia Clinic, Tripoli, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Salem A Beshyah
Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-489X.210117

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Introduction: Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for all adult Muslims. Physicians have a pivotal role in educating and supporting patients regarding safe fasting. A few studies addressed the Ramadan specific knowledge of medical practitioners and how well equipped they are to be engaged in efficiently providing care to people with diabetes. Objectives: We aimed to appraise the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of medical practitioners regarding management of people with diabetes during Ramadan. Materials and Methods: The databases of PubMed and Google Scholar were searched using the relevant key search terms. All identified publications were reviewed. Challenges, concerns, and opportunities were identified, and proposals were made to bridge gaps in perceptions and practices. Emerging concepts: Many of the reports are either small or lacked depth. There is a remarkable degree of inconsistency in the levels of knowledge, attitudes, and practices among physicians between regions and within the same country. Lack of ethnic-competency was observed in some studies from the west. The current level of preRamadan educational activities remains patchy, inconsistent and too often mostly “ceremonial” as part of pre-Ramadan festivities organized by pharmaceutical companies. Recommendations: The call for improvement and harmonization is timely to translate guidelines into clinical practice. To this end, a widely-shared curriculum of an evidence-based syllabus is strongly recommended as the core education for physicians and other health care professions. These should be delivered by consortia of highly motivated clinicians and academics, organized by professional societies and patient advocacy bodies, accredited by national authorities and unconditionally supported by the pharmaceutical industry.

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