Are you Ramadan Ready?

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Local Muslim communities are being invited to a health event in Leicester to help them prepare for fasting ahead of Ramadan next month (March).

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) are working with the NHS to organise a series of health days across the country. These will help communities condition their physical and mental health for Ramadan.

The Leicester event will be held on Saturday March 4 from 12pm to 4pm at Jamia Masjid Bilal, 80 Evington Valley Rd, Leicester LE5 5LJ.

Local GPs and other health professionals will offer talks and opportunities to discuss health and wellbeing. Information from local NHS and public health providers will also be available about common health conditions such as diabetes, menopause, heart disease, immunisations, mental health and respiratory disease. There will also be opportunities to have health checks including blood pressure and blood sugar levels, with experts available to discuss healthier lifestyle choices tailored to the community.

Leicester GP Dr Fahad Rizvi said: “Ramadan brings a huge opportunity to revisit our routines and think about our health, as well as the wellbeing of those around us. We want to help our community to plan ahead for a happy and healthy Ramadan. Please come and talk to health professionals about your faith and your physical and mental health. This is particularly important if you have an existing medical condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or epilepsy, and want to talk about your medication and changes to your daily routine.

“If you can’t make it to the health event on March 4, you can also get advice on how to manage your health during Ramadan from the usual health care professionals, such as your diabetes team, GP practice team and your community pharmacy.”

Dr Salman Waqar, President of BIMA said, “Ramadan is an exciting time for us and our families. As we alter our routines to accommodate the fast to seek the spiritual benefits of the month, we can also look to material gains in our health. This can be through maintaining the Ramadan spirit and discipline in moderating our diet to lose weight, stopping smoking, and continuing to practice mindfulness to promote good mental health. Ramadan can be demanding to those with some long-term health conditions, and they should seek the advice of a clinician on how they should approach Ramadan.”

People are also being urged to make sure they are protected from Covid in time for Ramadan and Eid. Dr Rizvi added: “This is a time when many people come together as families and communities. As the Covid virus is still circulating, you should get your first and second primary Covid vaccination dose if you have not already had them. Having a vaccination during Ramadan won’t invalidate your fast, and evidence shows it is the safest way to boost your immunity against the virus, protecting yourselves and loved ones.”

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