Claims of fasting being harmful to students unfounded- IMAG
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Accra – The Islamic Medical Association of Ghana (IMAGH) says any claim of fasting being harmful to students’ health is a “distorted assertion” that is unfounded as it lacked any bases in science and medicine.

The association has therefore called on school heads, the school’s Parent and Teachers Association and the Methodist Church of Ghana to desist from misinforming the public with claims of diseases such as peptic ulcer being caused by hunger or fasting.

“These bodies made this inaccurate assertion in an attempt to justify the clear violations of the religious rights of Muslim students in Wesley Girls High School,” the association said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The statement signed by Dr Abdul-Samed Tanko, President of the association was to clear the air on the use of health grounds as a blanket cover to prevent Muslim students from observing the Ramadhan fast while in school.

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

The association explained that while fasting is optional in most religions, it was an obligatory act for all healthy Muslims as “one is not allowed to skip fasting based on any other reasons.”

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

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“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 statement read.

IMAGH has called for stakeholder consultation and advised against discrimination of religious minorities 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 pose a risk to all of us and our future” it added.

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