GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) 12 (Soccsksargen) is aiming for zero firecracker-related injuries in the coming Christmas and New Year revelries.
Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education and promotion officer, said Wednesday they are working with local government units and other agencies to promote safer celebrations amid the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Monitoring on the selling and distribution of firecrackers and fireworks, he said, is being heightened in coordination with law enforcement units and the Department of Trade and Industry.
“We’ve noticed that the supplies of firecrackers and the number of vendors selling them have reduced and this is likely because of the pandemic,” Gangoso told reporters.
Under its “Oplan Iwas Paputok” for this year, he said the DOH seeks to promote safer alternative materials and modes of merry-making during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Gangoso suggested the use of drums or “tambol”, vehicle horns, blow sticks, kitchen utensils, tambourines, and coin banks, and playing loud music instead of lighting firecrackers.
“We’re urging our households to use these instead of firecrackers to avoid injuries while they are celebrating,” he said, adding that the DOH also discourages the use of horns or “torotot” and whistles as they require the removal of face masks.
For those planning to witness community fireworks displays, Gangoso said the minimum health protocols should be observed at all times, especially the wearing of face masks and face shields.
Residents who have asthma and other related illnesses should wear proper protective gear to avoid inhaling smoke coming from fireworks and other devices, he added.
In the previous Christmas and New Year celebrations, DOH-12 recorded at least 22 cases of injury, based on reports submitted by local hospitals and rural health units.
Six of the injuries were caused by homemade devices, among them the “boga” or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) cannon; three each by “kwitis” or sky rocket, five star, and homemade firecrackers; two each by piccolo and sparklers; and one each by triangle, pla-pla, and fountain. (PNA)
Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph