Medical experts harp on medication, caution breastfeeding mothers during Ramadan
Medical experts have cautioned patients against rescheduling medication without recourse to their doctors.
They also advised lactating mothers of babies below six months to desist from fasting for the health of their babies.
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The medical experts gave the advice on Wednesday in Zaria during a Pre-Ramadan Lecture organised by the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Branch.
Prof. Abdullahi Randawa, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecologist, ABUTH, said babies depended on their mothers for their survival after delivery.
“If such mother fast, she would not produce enough milk and the baby would suffer a lot,” he said.
Randawa, a former Provost, College of Medical Sciences, ABU, discouraged breastfeeding mothers from fasting because the baby may suffer especially if the baby is less than six months.
He added that when a baby was more than six months and was able to eat other food, then mothers could 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 an evaluation to ensure that she is healthy,’’ he said.
Randawa noted that the body of a woman has been created to take care of the baby during pregnancy.
He added that babies were blessed with the capacity to participate in their survival while in the womb of the mother, hence, the need for mothers to increase food intake during pregnancy.
He said pregnancy was a condition where the mother, whether she eats or not, the growing baby would make her breakdown her own body store for his or her 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.
“Therefore, 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 Yakubu, Consultant Physician, Department of Medicine, ABUTH, cautioned patients against rescheduling treatment and medication without recourse to their doctors.
“It can’t be decided by the patient; some of these drugs work better at 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 warned.
Yakubu said the Holy Qur’an has exempted Muslims who were sick or traveling from fasting, explaining that the exemption is not a final statement in itself.
He, however, said the sickness referred to in the Holy Qur’an has categories and grades; the people of knowledge had classified the sicknesses, illnesses and injuries for better guidance.
According to him, if the illness will be worsened by fasting or fasting will 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 provided pre-Ramadan lectures annually to enlighten the members and neighbouring 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 people to strive harder and up-skill the young ones with the knowledge of both Islamic and western education and use Ramadan period to pray for a prosperous Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the lecture was on the topic `Maternal Health and Ramadan Fast’, and `Health and Medications during Ramadan Fast’.