A hospital in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart neighbourhood is offering counseling to diabetic residents who want to fast during Ramadan. Patients attend the clinic to seek advice or shift the dosage of their medication. Often, they are advised against fasting. Clinic nurse Fatima Malki explains, “We have to tell them it’s not a good idea. We explain to them that there are verses of the Qur’an which allow very sick people to be excused from fasting.”
In less than 10 years the clinic has become a well known resource in the neighbourhood and sees an increase in attendance over Ramadan. Eelco Meesters, head of the specialist diabetes unit at the hospital, tells AFP that the clinic treats over 1,400 patients, over half of whom are immigrants from Morocco, Turkey and Surinam.