With the holy month of Ramadan approaching, Hamad General Hospital (HGH) – a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) – launched an exclusive walk-in clinic for diabetic patients to help better prepare them for fasting.

The decision to fast carries an assortment of risks and complications for diabetics, especially because patients experience a change in meal patterns and their level of physical activity. In order to assist patients with managing this change and avoiding diabetic complications while fasting, the new temporary clinic will offer diabetes consultation prior to the commencement of Ramadan.

Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at HGH, Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, commented:

We are pleased to initiate the Ramadan clinic for our patients with diabetes. This is part of our ongoing efforts to support our patients in managing their conditions and most importantly to avoid diabetes-related complications.’

Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs as a result of increased levels of glucose in the blood (blood sugar). The condition is broadly categorised into two types: type 1, in which the body does not produce any insulin, a hormone required to break sugar into energy needed for daily life, and type 2, in which the body fails to respond to insulin. Another common type is known as gestational diabetes, which occurs only during pregnancy.

Director of Diabetes Education at HGH, Manal Musallam, highlighted:

This clinic will be a dedicated space for patients with diabetes to adjust their medication before the beginning of Ramadan to meet the new lifestyle. Patients will receive instructions about how and when to monitor their blood sugar, the normal blood sugar target, when they would need to break their fast, and they will be given special instructions about physical activity and how to manage Taraweeh prayer (extra prayers in Ramadan).’

For individuals with diabetes who choose to fast during Ramadan, several issues require specific consideration, including monitoring of blood sugar, nutrition, exercise and fasting during pregnancy. It is recommended that patients consult with their healthcare team prior to fasting. Thus, the new clinic will encourage patients to take the necessary precautions when making the decision to fast and will help in the prevention of diabetes-related complications and emergency visits to the hospital.

The clinic, which is the first such offering by HMC, will be embedded within the National Diabetes Center at HGH, located on the second floor of the Outpatient Department. The clinic commences today and will be available from 5:30 pm to 9 pm. This will be followed by two simultaneous clinics offered on 1, 2 and 6 June 2015, and three simultaneous clinics on 7 to 9 June 2015 and four parallel clinics on 14 to 17 June 2015 at the same time. More clinics may be offered depending on the number of patients.

HMC has been the principal public healthcare provider in the state of Qatar for over three decades. HMC manages eight hospitals, incorporating five specialist hospitals and three community hospitals. The Corporation also manages the National Ambulance Service as well as home and residential care, all accredited by Joint Commission International. HMC is leading the development of the region’s first academic health system and is committed to building a legacy of healthcare expertise in Qatar. The Corporation collaborate with partners who are key experts in Qatar and beyond, including Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Partners Healthcare, Boston.