CLASSES to show people how to observe Ramadan and safeguard their health have been completed.

Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, which is expected to start around Friday, but depends on the sighting of the new moon and has regional variations.

Observers of the tradition avoid food and water from dawn until dusk.

But figures show that a high proportion of Kirklees people with diabetes are Muslims.

It has led to a campaign to help people with diabetes observe a safer Ramadan.

It has been run by NHS Kirklees and has been designed to safeguard health while meeting religious obligations.

The classes have been held at the North Huddersfield Trust School at Fartown where about 700 people have been taught a greater awareness of the issues.

Firdaws Khan, Safer Ramadan project manager, said: “For the next decade Ramadan will fall into the longest daylight hours, making the fasting more challenging for people with diabetes who find controlling their sugar levels difficult.

“The increased risks of very low or high blood sugars, dehydration and blood clotting could lead to hospitalisation and increased risk of diabetes complications.

“We have received an excellent response to the awareness and educational workshops.

“People have expressed how grateful they were to gain this awareness about simple ways to ensure keeping safe.

“Many people were not aware that if they take medication for their diabetes they need to get advice from their doctor prior to fasting.”

The programme offers free awareness sessions to community organisations, education for people with type 2 diabetes and awareness sessions with health-care professionals.

Nationally, someone is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes and in Kirklees the prevalence of diabetes is higher than the national average, with people from the South Asian community six times more likely to have diabetes than people from other communities.

For more information contact Firdaws Khan on 01484 464443 or email: