DOH 'Iwas paputok' drive intensified

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO Days ahead of Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, the Department of Health (DOH) has intensified its "iwas paputok" drive to prevent revelers from sustaining fireworks-related injuries and holiday festivities accidents.

Hospitals across the country were placed under high alert.

Health Undersecretary Maria Singh-Vergeire said that the DOH expects emergencies and New Year festivity-related injuries during the holidays, especially with pandemic restrictions eased and Covid-19 infections on the downtrend as reported by the Octa group.

"We will be making rounds around different hospitals to ensure the readiness of the facilities for firework-related injuries in light of the new year and the holidays. Our officials will visit the Las Piñas Trauma Center, Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, and the Amang Rodriguez Medical Center on December 29 for the DOH's 'iwas paputok' campaign to avert any injuries or accidents related during holiday celebrations," she said.

"Also, on New Year’s eve, the DOH Field Implementation and Coordination Team will do their rounds of communities across the country to ensure families are celebrating the coming of 2023 safely,” Vergeire added.

Based on DOH records, 85 cases of firecracker-related injuries sustained during last year's revelry were noted as a result of the use of prohibited and banned firecrackers specifically Boga, 5-Star, and Piccolo. Some 61 percent of the injuries logged included blasts or burns and 12 percent of the total cases required amputations.

"The DOH strongly suggests and urges revelers not to buy fireworks and instead welcome 2023 with safer alternatives like using loud speakers, blowing horns and percussion, and banging pans and pots. People are encouraged to celebrate by watching on social media platforms firework displays which are professionally prepared and allowed by law.

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