Texts to Help Diabetics During Ramadan

Ramadan Is a Month of Celebration, yet Can Be a Critical Time for People Suffering from Diabetes

June 13th, 2016

The holy month of Ramdan begins Monday June 6th, during which muslims around the world will fast from sunrise to sunset for a total of twenty-eight days. Every night, the break in fasting is welcomed as a celebration. It is indeed a month of celebration, yet the WHO (World Health Organisation) has highlighted how it can also be a critical time for those suffering from diabetes

The situation is particularly critical in Egypt, with 17% of Egyptians (9 million people) suffering from diabetics and 10% of people in a pre-diabetes stage. These figures are potentially even larger, as many people are unaware of the available medical services and only 40% of those who are aware are receiving an appropriate treatment, on account of a lack of awareness of the danger of this illness and a lack of access to regular medical consultations. According to Randa Abou Al-Naga, an expert at the WHO, Ramadan is particularly dangerous as diabetes can be aggravated by poor diet and a lack of physical activity, two factors that are especially relevant during the holy month.

In order to lessen these risks, in cooperation with the Arab regional office of the International Union of Telecommunications, the WHO created the ‘mDiabetes’ (‘m’ standing for ‘mobile’) project, based in Cairo. The aim of the project is to help diabetics by sending them advice via text messaged. ‘mDiabetes’ will send daily texts to 120 000 diabetics, advising them on what they should eat in order to ensure a balanced diet, giving them basic examples of physical exercises that they can do during the month of Ramadan, as well as raising their awareness on their need to consult a doctor on a regular basis to check their blood sugar level.

This initiative has been welcomed by Egypt’s health agencies. Every year, a raise in the complications linked to diabetes can be observed during the month of Ramadan. After the experimentation phase of the project in Egypt, the goal of the WHO is to export the initiative to other countries. The outlook for this is positive, asa further seven countries have already expressed an interest in implementing the project.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Pierre Even, CD News