CPD Articles

Ramadhan fasting for people living with chronic illness: A narrative literature review

Tasleem Ras, Rashiqua Holdman, Dianne Matthews
South African Family Practice | Vol 66, No 1 : Part 1| a5805 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v66i1.5805 | © 2024 Tasleem Ras, Rashiqua Holdman, Dianne Matthews | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2023 | Published: 31 January 2024

About the author(s)

Tasleem Ras, Department of Family, Community and Emergency Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Rashiqua Holdman, Department of Family, Community and Emergency Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dianne Matthews, Department of Family, Community and Emergency Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Muslims constitute approximately 20% of the world’s population. In South Africa, Muslims constitute just under 2% of the total population. Fasting is one of the mandatory activities of adherents of the Islamic faith, where all healthy adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sexual activities between dawn and dusk during the month of Ramadhan. Medical doctors are frequently required to provide advice to their Muslim patients about the safety or other health impacts of this type of fasting. This narrative review provides an overview of research conducted on Muslim populations during the fasting period, with special reference to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are prevalent in the Muslim community. In the absence of evidence-based clinical guidelines, this article summarises the latest published research on this topic, providing a resource for clinicians and researchers. This paper provides an evidence summary to clinicians when engaging with their patients who may be engaging in Ramadhan fasting, while also identifying gaps in the body of evidence that could inform future research.

Keywords

fasting; Ramadhan; non-communicable diseases; cultural sensitivity; mental health; geriatrics.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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