Friday, August 28, 2009

Medical Conditions During Ramadan

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is disseminating advice ahead of the approaching Ramadan period, where medical complications could arise for Muslim travellers.

In Middle Eastern countries such as Morocco, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, it is forbidden to eat, drink or even smoke in public during the fasting period. In some cases it is actually illegal to do so.

Source: Travel blog.

With habitual dedication such as praying five times per day, during the fasting period there pervades an intense social pressure in these locations, demanding conformity to religious obedience.

As such, many Muslims do abide fully by the terms of Ramadan, and go without food & water for the dictated duration from dawn to sunset every day. However, whether at home or travelling abroad, this pressure to conform could be putting the health of Muslims who need regular medication, at risk.

On the face of it, if there were a medical emergency, anyone would expect their travel insurance policy to hold firm and assist in that situation.

Despite the Qur’an exempting several demographics including the sick from necessarily following the practise, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society encourages this message to be heard, and allow the regular taking of medication to continue unabridged through the Ramadan period, rather than risking medical complications as a result of disrupted timing.

Further, those fasting with pre-existing medical conditions, for example diabetes, run an even greater risk of exacerbating the medical condition, if they continue to risk their health for a single religious event.

A subsequent question which arises from cases of intentionally choosing to ignore pharmaceutical advice during any form of imposed fasting, is whether it would void a travel insurance policy claim for medical complications as a result of that choice.

Video courtesy of: Digital News Agency

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