PEOPLE never seem to learn and the Provincial Health Office (PHO) is incensed at the reported high number of patients treated in various hospitals around Pangasinan for injuries from firecrackers during the New Year celebration.
Monitoring will continue until today, January 6, but as of January 4, there were already 186 cases reported, a 68 percent increase from the 111 recorded last year.
Dr. Anna Theresa De Guzman, Provincial Health Officer, said the worst part is majority of the injured are children aged five to 14 who were hurt by firecrackers such as kwitis or baby rocket, piccolo and 5-star.
De Guzman, furious at the number of injuries, has proposed a total ban on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and other forms of pyrotechnics throughout the country.
Six of the victims were with blasting and amputation of hands, 14 had eye injury, and the rest were blasting with no amputation.
The reported injuries came from 19 hospitals around Pangasinan, including 14 provincial government-owned hospitals, the Region 1 Medical Center, a hospital in San Manuel and Malasiqui towns and two private hospitals.
“The good news is there is no victim of stray bullet in Pangasinan,” she said.
She admitted that the government campaigns against firecracker explosions and safety measures, including the Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) of the Department of Health (DOH), fell short of the expected results.
At the same time, she stressed that the responsibility also lies largely on the parents and other adults in the community.
At the same time, the PHO noted the rise of cases involving cough and other upper respiratory ailments due to the heavy smoke caused by firecrackers and pyrotechnic products.
The hospitals continue to monitor cases of viral infections like coughs, colds and fever and post holiday-related illnesses like hypertension, diabetes and diarrhea due to spoiled food.–Hilda M. Austria and Eva Visperas
LOWER IN REGION 1
In Region 1 as a whole, the number of injuries caused by firecracker explosion and stray bullets from December 18 to January 2 was significantly lower compared to the same period last year.
The Center for Health Development-Ilocos Health Emergency Management Staff (CHD-1 HEMS) of the Department of Health (DOH) reported 205 injuries this year, 177 of whom were males.
Of the 205 cases, Pangasinan recorded the highest at 90, followed by Ilocos Sur, 44; Ilocos Norte, 38; and La Union, 33.
Dr. Ma. Racquel Magalong said this is lower by 38 percent compared to last year’s 329 cases.
The injured ranged in age from two to 68 years old.
Records showed at least 112 of these cases were caused by explosion of illegal firecrackers.
Three cases of stray bullet injuries were recorded, one each in Tubao, La Union; Sarrat, Ilocos Norte; and Nagbukel, Ilocos Sur.
This was lower from the 14 cases the previous year.