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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 508-511

South Asian consensus statement on women's health and Ramadan

1 Department of Medicine, MLN Medical College, Allahabad, India
2 Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, India
3 Department of Medicine, Bangalore Diabetes Hospital, Vasanthanagar, and AJ Diabetes Care and Polyclinic, BTM Layout, Bangalore, India
4 Section of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
5 Department of Paediatrics, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation for Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), Dhaka, Bangladesh
6 Department of Medicine, Era's Lucknow Medical College, Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
Sarita Bajaj
3/6, Panna Lal Road, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.97995

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Fasting during Ramadan, the holy month of Islam, is mandatory for all healthy adult Muslims. It is estimated that there are 1.1-1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, comprising 18-25% of the world population. About 62% of the world's Muslim population resides in Asia. Women comprise approximately 50% of this population. There is great religious fervor and enthusiasm in the majority of Muslims the world over for observing the religious fasting. Many of the Muslim women perhaps due to the family and societal pressures or lack of proper information hesitate and fail to avail themselves of the generous provisions of temporary or permanent exemptions from fasting available in Islam. It is therefore important that medical professionals as well as the general population be aware of potential risks that may be associated with fasting during Ramadan. This familiarity and knowledge is as important in South Asia and the Middle East as it is in Europe, North America, New Zealand, and Australia. There has not yet been any statement of consensus regarding women's health issues during Ramadan, namely menstruation, sexual obligations of married life, pregnancy, and lactation. This document aims to put forward some of the general guidelines for these issues especially for the South Asian Muslim women.

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