Ramadan app launched to support diabetics
Kuwait City, June 25, 2013
Merck & Co (MSD), a leading pharmaceutical company, has launched a Ramadan app to aid Muslims with type 2 diabetes who choose to fast during Ramadan.
The app will offer patients immediate access to the information kit “Facts About Fasting”, provide them with a blood sugar tracker, enabling fasting diabetics to record their glucose levels throughout the holy month, for discussion with their healthcare provider and a Ramadan calendar and prayer compass.
Despite the serious health risks that fasting could pose to diabetics, research shows that more than 50 million people with diabetes continue to fast during Ramadan against the advice of healthcare professionals.
In 2011, MSD launched a campaign to promote greater awareness among diabetics who fast during Ramadan and developed a new information kit specifically designed to give healthcare professionals tools to support their patients in deciding whether they will fast.
The information kit which was based on a study that was published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, showed that patients with type 2 diabetes who chose to fast during Ramadan and were taking Januvia (sitagliptin) experienced less hypoglycaemia than patients taking a sulphonylurea (SU). In addition, the relative risk of symptomatic hypoglycemia was significantly lower in patients treated with sitagliptin versus patients treated with SUs.
In 2012, this campaign further introduced a cookbook, which was specifically designed for Arab diabetics, offering them healthier alternatives to the traditional Arab recipes.
Mazen Altaruti, managing director of MSD Gulf, said: “Hypoglycaemia is a condition that can greatly impact the lives of people with type 2 diabetes and a common problem faced by diabetics who fast. It can result in serious complications and even death when not properly managed. In fact it is estimated that in 2012, more than 1,000 Kuwaiti citizens died as a result of diabetes and its complications.”
Discussing the potential dangers that Kuwaiti diabetics could face when fasting, Al Taruti, said: “For people with type 2 diabetes, decreased food intake, increased exercise, along with certain diabetes medications, are well-known risk factors for hypoglycaemia. If left untreated, it can lead to serious medical problems including loss of consciousness, convulsions and seizures, which require emergency treatment."
Currently, more than 362,000 Kuwaitis are thought to suffer from diabetes, he added. - TradeArabia News Service