DOH hopes for zero casualty this holiday season
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is hoping for zero casualty as the police and other government agencies enforce Executive Order No. 28 that regulates and controls the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices during the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Dr. Shelbay Blanco, Health and Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) coordinator of DOH-7, said they were expecting fewer firecracker-related injuries during the Christmas holiday up to the New Year’s eve celebration to welcome 2018, since the use of firecrackers and fireworks is now confined in a community fireworks display area, based on EO 28 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last June.
This year’s DOH “Iwas Paputok” campaign, which carries the theme “Oplan: Iwas Paputok, Fireworks Display ang Patok! Makiisa sa Fireworks Display sa Inyong Lugar,” will start on Dec. 16, 2017 until Jan. 5, 2018, during which dates all hospitals in the country are expected to be on code white alert.
The DOH defined code white alert as the readiness of hospital staff to respond to any emergency situation, placing all on an on-call status its nursing and administrative staff residing at the hospital dormitory.
DOH records showed that 632 firecrackers-related injuries were reported last year all over the country, which was 32 percent lower compared to the last five years’ average. In Central Visayas, however, the figure from Dec. 21, 2016 to Jan. 5, 2017, was 77 firecracker-related injuries, or up from 69 cases the previous year; and three cases of stray bullets victims, or down from the previous holiday season’s five incidents.
Blanco, speaking during a recent Philippine Information Agency-7 (PIA-7) forum in Cebu City, said they would pay particular attention to children as last year’s victims in the region were mostly children from ages 10 to 14.
Blanco said the top three firecrackers that the public should watch out for, are super lolo, piccolo and triangulo as these are the firecrackers often used by and had harmed children./With USC INTERN GAVIN MICHAEL CUBILLO
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