THE Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao has recorded a huge drop in reported firecracker injuries in the region during the holiday season.
According to David Mendoza, Research Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU) officer, that DOH noted a total of 10 fireworks and other pyrotechnics related injuries as of Friday, January 5, a 64 percent decrease compared to the reported 28 cases in 2016.
Out of 10 recorded injuries, Mendoza said nine of it are fireworks related injuries while one is a gunshot wound.
Mendoza said DOH noted Bukidnon as the most fireworks related injuries recorded, six (Malaybalay City: one; Maramag: three; Pangantucan: one; San Fernando: one); followed by Misamis Occidental, two (Aloran and Ozamiz City); and Cagayan de Oro City, one. The gunshot wound case recorded came from Iligan City.
Misamis Oriental, Camiguin and Lanao del Norte, meanwhile, have no recorded injuries during the New Year.
“Usually, its Misamis Oriental, Iligan, Lanao del Norte. For the first time in history, nidaog ang (its) Bukidnon. We can say sila ang pinakadaghan or sila ang pinakapaspas nag report (they have the most number of cases or they are the fastest to report their cases),” Mendoza said, adding there is a possibility that other places might not had reported all the firecracker related injuries.
The RESDRU officer said the age range of fireworks and other pyrotechnics related injuries is from 2 to 58 years old, wherein 80 percent (8) were males and the most affected age group are less than 10 years old.
“Previously, last year, our most affected age group are 10 to 25 [years old],” Mendoza said.
DOH noted that the firecrackers involved in the injuries were Piccolo, fountain, an improvise canon, and an unknown firecracker.
Mendoza said the firecracker was reported as unknown since they do not know what kind of firecracker was involved in injuring a two-year-old girl in Cagayan de Oro City.
He said that according to the records from the JR Borja General Hospital, the two-year-old girl sustained an eye injury and was rushed to the said hospital around 11 p.m. of December 31. The girl was said to have passed by a lit firecracker which caused her injury.
Mendoza said they still do not know the person who used the unknown firecracker.
Aside from the eye injury reported in Cagayan de Oro City, there were three more eye injuries recorded by the DOH in the region, five cases of blast/burn with no amputation and a gunshot wound.
As for the man in Barangay Casinglot, Tagoloan, who was reportedly slightly injured after getting hit by a stray bullet in the shoulder, Mendoza said his case was not in the DOH record because he was actually not injured.
“According sa local nga mga health personnel, there was none. So, nahulog lang gyud sya (he just fell down),” Mendoza said.
The RESDRU officer added that if a person does not have any injury, it is not a part of their surveillance.
“Kung naa man lugar kaso nga gipusil, maski pag gipusil sya pero intentional dili na apil sa amoa. It should be pag selebrar sa activity (If there was a case of gunshot, if its intentional, then it's not included in our records. It should be related to the New Year’s celebration),” Mendoza said.
DOH Regional Director Nimfa Torrizo, meanwhile, urged the public, who suffered injuries due to firecrackers during the holiday season, to seek treatment for tetanus infection from health care facilities.
“So people who suffered injuries during the New Year or Christmas may have not been properly attended to, should go to health care facilities for evaluation and properly intervention,” Torrizo said.
In the early morning of Friday, January 10, DOH lifted its Code White Alert.