Screening diabetes during Ramadan

Framing EffectandHealth

How effective and receptive diabetes screening is during Ramadan

Intervention Description

The Islamic holiday Ramadan is an ideal time for diabetes screening for two unrelated reasons. The first is medical: the most cost-effective method of testing for diabetes is only possible if the recipient has been fasting, as many Muslims do during Ramadan. The other is behavioral: people are more receptive to the idea of life changes if it is presented at a significant moment, as Ramadan is for many Muslims. For this reason, researchers set up screening stations at a mosque, and had imams encourage worshipers to be tested. They tested 177 individuals, 1/3 of whom were at risk for or had diabetes and didn’t know prior to the test. This suggests that diabetes testing during Ramadan would be more effective than usual in Islamic communities.