Skip to content
Subscriber Assistance+1 215 942 8342
Subscriber Login
Shop Here
Ramadan lantern with lights in the background

Press announcement

Navigate Ramadan Safely and Healthily: Prioritise Mental Wellbeing and Stay Prepared

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, Muslims worldwide prepare for a journey of spiritual reflection and fasting. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around 11 March. The exact start date will be based on the visibility of new crescent moon and will be confirmed closer to the expected start date. Fasting hours vary depending on location and will gradually increase throughout the month as the time to begin the fast (Imsak) and end it (Iftar) is directly connected to when the sun rises and sets, respectively. While this period offers deep personal growth, it is crucial to approach it with a focus on both physical and mental wellbeing as well. International SOS, the world's leading provider of medical and security services, reminds everyone observing Ramadan to prioritise safety and health with expert advice and personalised support.

Dr Nosa Aihie, Regional Medical Director at International SOS says
This year, we want to emphasise the importance of prioritising mental health and wellbeing during Ramadan. During the holy month of Ramadan, while many find it a time for spiritual reflection and growth, it is important to acknowledge that the changes in routine and physical demands of fasting can impact on employees’ mental and physical wellbeing. Organisations can help employees navigate the month by safeguarding their health, wellbeing and fostering a more inclusive and understanding work environment.

Adequate hydration and a balanced diet during Suhoor and Iftar are crucial. Prioritising sleep and ensuring a healthy balance between work, rest, and leisure activities are equally important practices for maintaining wellbeing during Ramadan.
Gulnaz Ukassova, Security Director at International SOS, highlights the importance of staying safe during Ramadan
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is an important period for observant Muslims across the world. In many countries across the Middle East and North Africa, local businesses and government offices adjust working hours for that period. Mobile workers and foreign residents should familiarise themselves with the cultural norms and practices in their location during Ramadan. For example, in some countries, even those who do not fast may be expected to also refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public during daylight hours.

Roads are likely to be particularly congested in the hour before the breaking of the fast. Meanwhile, attending public gatherings and celebrations, particularly during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan and is a public holiday in many countries across the region, requires situational awareness and measures against petty crime.

The end of Ramadan will be marked with a celebration of Eid al-Fitr, when Muslims typically attend their local mosque for Eid prayer in the early morning and host great feasts with their family and friends throughout the day.

International SOS’ top five tips for organisations to support employees observing the fast this Ramadan are:
  1. Foster an open environment: Encourage open communication by having a clear and inclusive policy on religious observance in the workplace. This demonstrates respect for employees’ personal beliefs and allows them to comfortable discuss their needs during Ramadan.
  2. Ensure employees prioritise health and wellbeing: Remind employees to stagger their hydration during non-fasting hours and to consume nutrient-rich meals during Suhoor and Iftar. Rehydration should be a cumulative process. The best way to rehydrate fasting bodies and maintain this hydration for longer is to pace your liquid intake by consuming at least two litres of water - one or two glasses at a time - between Iftar and Imsak. Quality sleep is also vital for maintaining energy levels, mental clarity, and focus, all crucial for workplace performance.
  3. Promote flexible working arrangements: Consider offering flexible working arrangements, such as adjusted start and finish times to accommodate individual needs. Additionally, be understanding if employees require more breaks or need to adjust their break timings for prayers.
  4. Offer resources: Provide resources or information about healthy practices during Ramadan, such as recommended dietary guidelines or tips for maintaining energy levels while fasting. This demonstrates care for employees' wellbeing and empowers them to make informed choices during this important time.
  5. Provide mental health support: Understand that fasting and changes in routine during Ramadan can impact mental wellbeing. Ensure that employees have access to the support they may need to prioritise their mental health throughout Ramadan. Encourage employees to utilise mental health resources offered by the organisation, such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), or provide information about external resources for stress management and emotional support.

To learn more on how we can support your global workforce, click here.

About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives and protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, and your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity, and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by over 9,000 organisations. This includes the majority of the Fortune Global 500. As well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and NGOs. Nearly 12,000 multi-cultural security, medical, logistics and digital experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,200 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days. Between them, International SOS employees speak nearly 100 languages and dialects in our Assistance Centres, Clinics, and offices.

To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: