THE Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) will launch helpline services to assist people with diabetes during the Holy Month of Ramadan, in August.
The services will be available from the first day of Ramadan.
The phone-based emergency service will be open to all diabetics who decide to fast, regardless of nationality.
Talking to Qatar Tribune on Wednesday, Sharoud al Jundi Matthis, QDA’s programme manager, said the hotlines include two mobile numbers and a landline to accommodate callers in the morning and evening.
QDA staff, Hamad Medical Corporation and the Primary Health Care physicians will be available to cater to the queries of the patients, families and friends.
“QDA can be reached at ‘44547311’ or ‘55274919’ from 8am to 1pm.
The other hotline service number ‘55981331’ will be open from 8pm to 11pm,” Matthis said.
According to Matthis, the numbers were made public in both the electronic and print media, so that people can know where to seek assistance during Ramadan.
“People with diabetes should make full use of this opportunity.
Any diabetic patient can call and the healthcare providers will be available to give advice.
A patient needs to listen to a healthcare provider more than his or her family member.
We work with Imams because a lot of what we say needs to be backed by a religious authority,” she said.
Matthis said that people with diabetes should test their blood sugar level regularly, while fasting.
“Testing blood sugar does not mean that you are breaking your fast.
We have discussed with Imams and Sheikhs and asked them to highlight this fact.
Keep a glucometer near you to test blood sugar levels regularly,” she said.
Matthis advised the diabetics to consult their physician prior to the fasting period.
“Patients should not hesitate to ask their doctor, before they consider fasting,” she said.
Matthis further said, “Pregnant women with diabetes should never fast.
Patients with uncontrolled diabetes and those who use multiple shots of insulin, those who suffer from long-term diabetes complications such as kidney failure or heart disease, and patients with tendency for high ketone levels should avoid fasting.” Matthis advised that a diabetes patient on fast should not hesitate to break his or her fast if symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) levels are noticed, even if it is few minutes before breaking the fast.
“If you are having low blood sugar symptoms, you need to break the fast immediately and avoid unnecessary health complications,” she said.
She said, in order to avoid low blood sugar levels, patients should make sure that they have the Suhoor meal.
They should also drink plenty of water and sugar-free juice between Iftar and Suhoor to avoid dehydration and to mainly protect kidney.
QDA plans to send doctors in different mosques during Ramadan to enlighten people on diabetes and fasting.
They will also do the necessary tests on patients.
The messages on ‘safe fasting’ will be available on ‘www.qda.org.qa’ and QDA’s Facebook page.