Diabetes advice available for those observing Ramadan


Patient being tested for blood sugar levels. Photo: Wikimedia Comms

For national Diabetes Week, Tower Hamlets Council is offering support by holding a number of advice sessions as the borough’s large Muslim population gears up for Ramadan.

The Barts Health Diabetes Care Centre will run Ramadan and diabetes sessions from June 13-26 in various locations (see the list below). This will be an opportunity for Muslims with diabetes to check whether their levels of medication are appropriate for the month of Ramadan. Services will be available in both Bengali and English.

Ramadan, which occurs during the ninth month of the Islam calendar, begins this year on June 29. Muslims observing the month-long fast abstain from eating between sunrise to sunset; this can pose a risk for those with type 2 diabetes as long periods without food can lead to low blood sugar levels.

Imam Faruq Siddiqi, Barts Health’s Muslim Chaplain, said: “The general Islamic ruling is, if a person’s health is at risk due to a medical condition they should not fast or they can break the fast.” For Muslims with diabetes who do choose to fast, the charity Diabetes UK are asking that they consult their GP, diabetes nurse or doctor. They can also show up at the following sessions:

  • Friday June 13 10am–2pm. Blithehale Medical Centre, 22 Dunbridge Street, E2 6JA
  • Tuesday June 17 10am–12pm. Mile End Hospital, Bancroft Rd, E1 4DG
  • Friday June 20 2pm–4pm. Island Health, 145 East Ferry Road, E14 BQ
  • Tuesday 24 June 2pm–4pm. Whitechapel Health Centre, 44-56 Hessel Street, E1 2LP
  • Wednesday June 25 10am–12pm. Harford Health Centre, 79 Ben Jonson Road, E1 4SA
  • Thursday June 26 2pm–4pm. East London Mosque, 46 Whitechapel Road, E1 1JX

Diabetes support for the general public is also available throughout this week. An estimated 14,000 people in Tower Hamlets have type 2 diabetes; up to 2,000 others may be unaware they have the disease. The following sessions offer check ups and consultations to residents in Tower Hamlets.

  • Wednesday June 11 9am-4pm. Chrisp Street Idea Store, 1 Vesey Path, E India Dock Rd E14 6BT
  • Wednesday June 11 9am-4pm. Cubbitt Town Library, Strattondale Street E14 3HG
  • Thursday June 12 9am-4pm. Bow Idea Store, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road, E3 5ES
  • Friday June 13 12pm-3pm. Whitechapel Idea Store, 321 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1BU

For more information visit the Diabetes UK website.

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