Ramadan: Experts Warn Against Rescheduling Medication, Caution Lactating Mothers


By;  SANI ALIYU, Zaria

 Lactating mothers for babies below six months have been warned  to desist from fasting, also patients are warned against rescheduling medication without recourse to their doctors.

A medical expert gave the advice during a Pre-Ramadan Lecture organised by Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN) Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Branch in Zaria on Wednesday.   

Prof. Abdullahi Randawa, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecologist ABUTH said babies depend on mothers for their survival after delivery; if such mothers fast, she would not produce enough milk and the baby would suffer a lot.

Randawa, a former Provost College of Medical Sciences, ABU Zaria discouraged breastfeeding mothers from fasting because the baby may suffer especially if the baby is less than six months.

He added that when such a baby is more than six months and he is able to eat other food, then mothers of such babies can fast.

“I would not discourage a pregnant woman who is healthy from fasting if she has the motivation, but she should consult her physician for evaluation to ensure that she is healthy,’’ he said.

He noted that the body of a woman has been created to take care of the baby during pregnancy.

He added that babies are blessed with capacity to participate in its survival while in the womb of the mother, hence the need for mothers to increase food intake during pregnancy.  

He said pregnancy is a condition whereby, whether a mother   eats or not, the growing baby would make her breakdown her own body store for his survival.

“So, whether the mother increases her food intake or not, the baby would access her body store for his survival.  The best thing for her is to eat more so that she and her baby live well and remain healthy”.  

According to him, it is not good for her to stay long without eating (like during Ramadan) it can lead her to suffer some minor illness, lose blood sugar and even become unconscious,’’ he said.

Similarly,  Dr. Muhammad-Mustapha Yaqub Consultant Physician, Department of Medicine, ABUTH cautioned patients on rescheduling of treatment and medication without recourse to their doctors.  

“It can’t be decided by the patient; some of these drugs work better in the night or in the morning and some drugs work for a few hours while others work for long houses.

“So if you take your decision without recourse to a specialist you may find yourself in trouble,’’ he said.  

Yakubu said the Holy Quran has exempted Muslims who are sick or traveling from fasting, explaining that the exemption is not a final statement on itself.

He however, said the sickness referred to in the Holy Quran has categories and grades; the people of knowledge came-in had classified the sicknesses, illnesses and injuries for better guidance.

He said, if the illness would be worsened by fasting or fasting would delay the treatment of illness, then in that situation, fasting should be kept aside.

Prof. Abdulaziz Hassan, Amir of IMAN,  ABU/ABUTH branch said the association provides pre-Ramadan lectures annually to enlighten the members and neighboring communities on Ramadan vis-à-vis health issues.

This year, the discourse was on pregnancy, maternal health and how people should take medications during Ramadan.

According to him, the lecture aims at preparing members of the association and the community towards achieving the maximum spiritual and health benefits of Ramadan fasting in a healthy manner.

He therefore, called on the society to strive harder and impart into the younger ones,  the knowledge of both Islamic and Western education and use the Ramadan period to pray for a prosperous Nigeria.   

The lecture was on the topic,  “Maternal Health and Ramadan Fast and `Health and Medications during Ramadan Fast”. 


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