Guard against tetanus, penitents warned



The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday warned penitents planning to whip themselves bloody and nail themselves to crosses as part of their Lenten rituals to be careful lest they suffer serious health problems.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona, in a press briefing, said that while they respected the Lenten tradition of flagellation and crucifixion which some Filipinos consider a form of “atonement for sins,” they would like to advise penitents to guard against infections from wounds like tetanus.

He explained that deep-cut wounds resulting from crucifixion and whipping could be exposed to the heat, dust and all sorts of bacteria.

“Tetanus could enter the body through the wounds,” he said.

Flagellants use whips with small pieces of metal or bamboo sticks at the tip to lash themselves. In some cases, others do the whipping for them.

Ona also reminded penitents to make sure that the nails to be used to crucify them are first soaked in sterilizing solution to protect from tetanus.

“It is also important that those who nail the flagellants to the cross are experts because they might damage vital nerves on the hands, affecting the (muscles of the) hands,” Ona said.

Likewise, flagellants are prone to dehydration because of the long walks they take under the scorching sun. Ona advised them to drink lots of water to get rehydrated.

The DOH also advised those going on pilgrimages this week to be mindful of what they eat and drink because disease could be spread through contaminated food and water.

“We can never be sure how the juice and other cold drinks sold in the streets were prepared so it’s better to be safe,” said Ona. “It’s better to prepare your own food to guard against illnesses such as diarrhea and others.”

Meanwhile, the DOH also warned the public against the “Big S” diseases, namely, sore eyes, sunburn, sipon at ubo (cold and cough), skin rashes, pagsusuka at pagdudumi (vomiting and diarrhea)  and sakmal ng aso (dog bites).

“Sore eyes or conjunctivitis, when mistreated, can lead to blindness. More than just an eye irritation, it could be due to harmful bacteria or viruses that can be easily spread to other people. Hand washing can limit its spread,” Ona said.

“Sunburn can be prevented if you time your outdoor activities. Outdoor activities must be done in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Stay in the shade or seek cool places to prevent the ill effects of too much sun exposure,” he said.

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  • Horst Manure

    Aahahah how warp can the human brain get???

  • Ommm

    “(DOH) on Wednesday warned penitents planning to whip themselves bloody
    and nail themselves to crosses as part of their Lenten rituals to be

    Any “civilized” country would view these people as deranged, posing a danger to themselves…and lock them up under the mental health act for observation.

    At least Jesus ordeal was not self imposed and it had a purpose…but this is pure insanity and really makes this country look like religious zealots in the eyes of the world. The fact the DOH condones it even makes matters worse.

  • delpillar

    DOH Secretary Ona said “Tetanus could enter the body through the wounds,” he said.

    actually mali si Dr. Ona sa paggamit ng tamang terms

    It is not the Tetanus that would enter the body through deep wounds.

    Tetanus is the medical condition when the BACTERIA Clostridium Tetani enter the deep wounds.

    • Horst Manure

      They are already wounded in the head. A priest can dress up in women s clothing and stand in a church and he is looked upon as a leader ,some one does the same on a street corner and he is carried away for a mental check up.

  • kabayandinako

    Yung mga sira ulo na walang alam boong taon kundi uminom, manlamang sa kapwa, magpabaya sa pamilya, at magpakitang tao na nagsisisisi sila sa pamamagitan ng pag gulpi sa sarili, tapos dating gawi din naman,alam ba nila na batid ng Diyos na nambobola lang sila?

    • makinagulingon_nasud

      A suspended Catholic priest who allegedly made more than
      $300,000 in meth sales out of his Connecticut apartment will plead
      guilty to a drug charge, according to court documents.

      NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A suspended Roman Catholic
      priest in Connecticut accused of taking in more than $300,000 from sales
      of methamphetamines plans to plead guilty to one of the charges against
      him, according to court filing Tuesday.

      Kevin Wallin is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Hartford next week for a
      hearing in which he would plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with
      intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to the filing obtained
      by The Associated Press.

  • makinagulingon_nasud

    ‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;’ 1 Corinthians 6:19
    As for flagelation that is reserved for specific orders that make that as one of their corporal mortification practices. Of course it is done in moderation and under strict spritual direction—for these acts can also be a source of pride which would be self defeating.
    As for lay people we should practice simple corporal mortification too…cold showers, limited eating, self discipline in sleeping, etc.etc. It shouldn’t be as morbid as the media make it out to be.
    Recall that Christ said to the disciples who couldn’t cast out the demons that ‘this one can only be cast out by prayer and fasting’—fasting is the corporal mortification here. Apparently, Christ practiced what he preached (40 days of fasting in the desert)

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