Health department ready for holiday revelries-A A +A
Thursday, December 23, 2010
THE Department of Health (DOH) has activated all government hospitals in Eastern Visayas to treat firecracker-related injuries in this year's holiday season while stepping up its drive to make holiday revelries safer.
Health Regional Director Edgardo Gonzaga said that though they have been campaigning to discourage people from using firecrackers, they need to prepare health facilities in the region including rural health units to treat victims.
"Health workers have been trained to deal with this problem common during Christmas and New Year's season," Gonzaga told Leyte Samar Daily Express.
He said health facilities are capable of treating injury patients because firecracker-related injuries common every end of the year. "Our target is zero firecracker injury."
DOH hospitals were told to be on "code white alert" on December 24, 25 and 31, 2010, and on January 1, 2011, to ensure prompt emergency services. Adequate manpower, drugs and medicines, vaccines, medical supplies and equipments, among others, will be made available at all times.
On the other hand, he urged local government units (LGUs) to strictly implement laws regulating the use of firecrackers and to confiscate those that are prohibited.
Republic Act 7183 "regulates and controls the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices consistent with, and in furtherance of, public safety, order and national security, as well as the enhancement of the cultural traditions."
Gonzaga stressed that LGUs can instead encourage people to take part in activities that don't require firecrackers, such as sounding toy horns.
Campaign materials discouraging the use of firecrackers have already been distributed to various LGUs.
The health department has stepped up their drive to achieve zero firecracker injury after they have noted that injury cases went up to 46 in 2009 from 22 a year before.
"That's why we are moving forward on doing aggressive health advocacy and promotion," Gonzaga added.
He said that the most common firecrackers that caused injuries last year are piccolo, kwitis, 5 star, and pla pla. "Our goal is that no child will use firecrackers."
Following the deaths due to firecracker use in the past year, the health department has recommended the complete ban of firecrackers and fireworks in residential areas.
However, total ban in many cities have not been imposed due to defiance from residents and other local unit officials.
Every year at this period until the first week of January, many residents suffer injuries either due to negligence in lighting firecrackers or because undisciplined users throw these firecrackers at unsuspecting individuals.
Meanwhile, Gonzaga urged the public to be cautious in selecting toys as gifts to children to ensure their safety.
"We have to select safe toys. Refrain from giving small toys with small parts so children won't swallow them," he added. Leyte Samar Daily Express