Victims of firecracker injuries reach 64 in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 January) — Health personnel in Region 12 recorded 22 more firecracker-related injuries in the run-up and during the New Year’s Day celebrations, bringing the injury cases in the area to 64.

Jenny Ventura, Kontra Paputok campaign coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) Region 12, said Thursday such figure was based on the reports submitted as of 6 a.m. by 31 hospitals in the region that were designated as monitoring centers for the campaign.

She said the firecracker injuries were up by four cases or 6.67 percent from the 60 cases recorded in the same period during the previous year.

Region 12, which is also known as Soccksargen, covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Ventura said North Cotabato posted the most number of injuries with 34, followed by South Cotabato with 17, this city with 11, and Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani with six each.

Cotabato City-based hospitals have not reported a single case of firecracker-related injury since the monitoring started last Dec. 21, she said.

Ventura said majority of the cases were caused by the banned piccolo firecracker and there were noted injuries due to boga or PVC cannon.

Of the 64 victims, she said 42 were children aged 12 years-old and below and 59 were males.

“These are partial figures as we’re still waiting for the reports from the other hospitals so the number could still increase in the next few days,” she said in an interview over local television show Magandang Umaga South Central Mindanao.

She said they are also validating some reports regarding cases of indiscriminate firing, specifically an incident involving a resident of Malungon town in Sarangani who was rushed to a hospital here.

Compared to 2013, Ventura said the reported injury cases could have increased due to the prompt and accurate reporting by the designated monitoring centers.

She said that from six in the previous year, they agency expanded its monitoring to 31 hospitals for the 2014 Christmas and New Year holidays.

“There was a significant number of unreported cases in 2013 as we only focused our monitoring in six hospitals,” she added. (MindaNews)