DOH: Firecracker injuries in Soccsksargen may go up to 33
COTABATO CITY – The number of fireworks and firecracker-related injuries in the South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City (Soccsksargen) region rose to 22 but could still go up to 33 as there were still cases that were left unreported, health officials said.
Jenny Panizales, speaking for the Department of Health in region 12 (DOH-12), said the number of victims of firecracker-related injuries sent to the hospitals only reached 22.
But she said the real number could still go higher because there were still a number of cases that did not reach the hospital.
“There were victims who were not rushed to the hospital so they were not included in the list,” Panizales said as DOH terminated its monitoring here over the weekend.
She said the DOH report was based entirely on firecracker injury cases that reached the hospitals.
Panizales said the online national electronic injury surveillance system (ONEISS) only reported seven cases of firecracker injuries in Cotabato province while the Integrated Provincial Health Office reported 18 cases of firecracker-related injuries during the same monitoring period. The IPHO report included the case of a 20-year old whose arm was hit by a stray bullet in Pikit, Cotabato province at past 10 pm of New Year’s Eve.
“Some victims may have had minor wounds that did not need medication but DOH advises them to get treatment to avoid serious infections,” Panizales told the Inquirer.
According to the IPHO report, Kidapawan reported the highest number of nine victims hurt by firecrackers; followed by Mlang and Tulunan towns, with three victims each; and the towns of Aleosan, Midsayap and Pikit, which reported only one victim each.
One of the fingers of a 12-year-old boy in Tulunan had to be amputated due to serious firecracker injury, Panizales added.
Dr. Eva Rabaya, Cotabato IPHO chief, said the youngest victim in Cotabato province was a four-year-old boy whose face was hit by an exploding Piccolo. Luckily, the firecracker did not hit the boy’s eyes. The oldest victim was 20 years old.
Panizales said the number of injuries from firecrackers in Cotabato province this year was eight per cent lower compared to the same monitoring period last year.
South Cotabato recorded 10 firecracker injuries, Sarangani and General Santos City each reported two injuries, while Sultan Kudarat reported one victim.
As the cost of firecrackers and fireworks rose because of the anti-firecrackers campaign this year, Panizales said people were
shifting to the use of homemade firecrackers, which she blamed for the high number of firecracker injuries this year.
“Home-made devices are (more) dangerous,” she said, citing the use of “boga” or cannon made of PVC (polymerizing vinyl chloride) common in the countryside.
Panizales said DOH 12 had been supporting a total ban on firecrackers nationwide.
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