World Bulletin / News Desk
Diabetics have been testing the new app mRamadan that was made in Senegal, the first Francophone country to pilot a mobile phone platform. The app helps people with diabetes safely manage their health while fasting.
For the first time diabetics in Senegal can now receive free, daily text messages with recommendations for fasting before, during and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
"mRamadan," is part of the Be He@lthy Be Mobile program, a joint initiative by the World Health Organization and the International Telecommunication Union that aims to help countries fight non-communicable diseases.
The aim of mRamadan is to reduce the number of emergency hospitalizations that normally peak during Ramadan by safely managing their illness.
Marie Gadio, 26, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 13, said living with diabetes during Ramadan is not easy.
"It is sometimes difficult because here in Senegal the majority of people are Muslims and because of that no one is eating during the day," she said. "Certain diabetics just fast as they want, without knowing anything, but now our technology is developing and people can take advice from this program."
Even though Islam exempts Muslims that are too young, old, pregnant, or not in good health from fasting, many diabetics still devote themselves to keep their fast. They also sometimes stop taking insulin injections, which are needed to regulate blood glucose levels.
Dr. Maimouna Ndour Mbaye, a professor of internal medicine and diabetology who works at the Marc Sankale National Diabetes Center in Dakar, said diabetics can face a number of complications while fasting.
"The first risk is hypoglycemia, which can be very harmful to the brain, in particular," she said. "There is also a risk of hyperglycemia, because when they fast, their diabetes is less controlled. They cannot take their medication on a regular basis as they do on a normal day. And this is a risk... and exposes [patients] to complications.Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2014, 13:33