The Department of Health (DOH) teams up with the Department of the Interior & Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Eco Waste Coalition as it officially launches the 2015 anti-firecracker campaign which carries the theme, “Sa Ingay Walang Sablay, sa Paputok Goodbye Kamay”.
In the past, DOH conveyed its messages through both scare tactics and positive approaches. This year’s campaign focuses on encouraging the public to use alternative ways in celebrating Christmas and welcoming New Year and avoid the use of firecrackers.
“For this year, instead of firecrackers, the public is encouraged to use safe merry-making instruments and alternative noise-makers such as ‘torotot’, car horns, or by playing loud music. Also, the local government units (LGUs) are urged to foster community firework display.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin said.
In 2014, the DOH final report on the Fireworks-Related Injury Surveillance recorded zero death and 860 cases nationwide which is 16% lower compared to 2013 (1,018 injuries). Of the 860 reported injuries, 840 were due to fireworks, 13 from stray bullet, while 7 were cases of firecracker ingestion. Most injuries were caused by piccolo (32%), followed by kwitis (15%), unknown firecrackers (11%), luces (7%) and fountain (5%).
Most fireworks-related injuries came from the National Capital Region (57%), followed by Ilocos Region (8%), Western Visayas (7%), and CALABARZON (6%). In NCR, most cases were from Manila (37%), Quezon City (26%) and Las Pinas City (6%). Notably, no cases were reported from the cities of San Juan and Muntinlupa.
The health chief emphasizes the earnest cooperation of the LGUs and the public to achieve zero casualty as we welcome 2016. The DOH reminds all Filipinos, both young and old, to have fun yet be vigilant at the same time.
In case of an injury due to firecrackers, Garin reminded that the wounds must be immediately washed with clean running water until all visible dirt and gunpowder residue is removed. The patient must immediately be rushed to the nearest health facility for proper medical attention. The DOH ensures that all DOH Hospitals are prepared to attend to injuries related to fireworks.
“Serious injuries and amputation caused by firecracker explosions have life-changing consequences. It is an extreme gamble on one’s future. Every time a firecracker is ignited, a person’s life is at risk, hence, let us do all our part. Hindi dapat laging nasa huli ang pagisisi; sa ingay walang sablay, sa paputok goodbye kamay.” Garin concluded.