Islamic Medical Association Dismisses Claims of Fasting Being Harmful

The Islamic Medical Association of Ghana (IMAGH) has called out the heads of Wesley Girls High School, its Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) and the Methodist Church of Ghana over what it described as “distorted assertions” that suggests that fasting was harmful to the health of students.

The association which represents all Muslim Health professionals in the country and has Dr Hadi Mohammed Abdullah, a Neurosurgeon at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital as its General Secretary indicated that such claims were made without any scientific proof and are therefore unfounded as it lacked any firm bases in Science and medicine.

“This inaccurate assertion was made by these bodies in an attempt to justify the clear violations of the religious rights of Muslim students in Wesley Girls High school” said the association in a statement released on Wednesday and endorsed by its President, Dr Abdul-Samed Tanko.                 

It further explained that while fasting is optional in most religions, it was an obligatory act for all healthy Muslims in the Islamic month of Ramadan as “one is not allowed to skip fasting based on any other reasons. It is even worse when such instructions are not based on sound scientific knowledge”.

“The Quran however exempts Muslims with underlying health and some physiological conditions from fasting. These include those who are ill or on a journey.

“Muslims with active peptic ulcer, pregnant and lactating women, renal disease, liver disease are encouraged by Islamic scholars and health professionals to avoid fasting” the association explained.

It reiterated that peptic ulcer disease is not caused by hunger or fasting and therefore called for a stop in misinforming the general public.

“Several medical research conducted and published on reputable medical journals such as the New Journal of England medicine, John Hopkins Journal of medicine, have affirmed that intermittent fasting promotes blood sugar control via the reduction of insulin resistance and impacts positively on type 2 diabetes mellitus, and minimizes the risk of coronary heart disease and hyperlipidaemia” the statement read.

IMAGH has therefore called for a broader stakeholder consultation to resolve the issue and has further cautioned against taunting religious groups to build their own schools as that had the potential of deepening religious segregation and divisiveness.

“We wish to state that Ghana is a secular state which must promote inclusiveness. Public or government assisted schools which seek to promote one religion over the other poses a risk to all of us and our future” it added.

Story By: Issah Mohammed

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