The Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad Injury Prevention Programme (HIPP) has urged Qatar residents to take extra precautions to stay safe during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

“Ramadan is a special time of the year during which Muslims are reminded to concentrate on their faith, practice self-control, and show compassion to others,” explained Dr Hassan al- Thani, head of the Hamad Trauma Center. The HIPP is the community outreach arm of the Hamad Trauma Center.

“Ramadan presents its own unique challenges as people adjust to a new routine, and these challenges have the potential to increase the risk of injury. Traditionally, we have seen a rise in the number of trauma admissions during Ramadan due to motor vehicle crashes, but the risk of injury at home may also be increased during this time,” he added.

“We encourage everyone to take extra precautions during Ramadan, whether they are at home, at work, or travelling around Qatar, so that we can all enjoy this important time of the year safely,” said Dr al-Thani.

Fasting can affect people’s ability to concentrate, especially during the first few days of Ramadan when they are adjusting to their new routine. It is therefore important that people pay extra attention when driving, operating machinery or using potentially harmful household items such as knives and gas cookers.

“A key factor contributing to the increase in motor vehicle crashes, and therefore subsequent injuries, comes when people drive without due care when trying to reach their destination to break their fast at Iftar,” said Dr Aisha Fathi Abeid, assistant director, HIPP.

"We ask that people allow extra time to reach their destination so that they are not rushing to get to the place where they will break their fast. As always, the single most important action you can take to protect yourself in a vehicle is to wear a seatbelt at all times. If you are not in the habit of regularly wearing your seatbelt, we encourage you to use Ramadan as the time to begin this good habit,” added Dr Abeid.