GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 01 January) — The number of fireworks and firecracker-related injuries in the holiday revelries in Region 12 has reached 12 as of Wednesday, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said.
Jenny Panizales, DOH-12 spokesperson, said the recorded injuries were based on reports submitted by local health offices and hospitals in the region as of the New Year’s Eve celebration.
Region 12, also refered to as Soccsksargen, comprises South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and the cities of Koronadal, General Santos, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato City.
Panizalee said six of the reported injuries were in South Cotabato, four in North Cotabato and one each in Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat provinces.
Last year, the total number of injuries recorded for the same period was 14.
Panizales said most of the victims suffered minor blast wounds but cited that three of them sustained eye injuries and are “still under close observation.”
The injuries were caused by kwitis or sky rocket, five-star triangle, homemade firecrackers and sparklers.
Based on the agency’s Oplan Iwas Paputok campaign monitoring as of early Jan. 1, Panizales said Cotabato City maintained its zero-injury record for the fourth straight year.
She said this city has so far achieved the same status since the start of the monitoring period last Dec. 21. DOH will end its monitoring on Jan. 5.
Cotabato voted for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao but has yet to be turned over as it has a pending protest over the plebiscite results.
“Our coordination with local hospitals and health offices is ongoing and we’re waiting for the updated reports from other areas,” she said in an interview over television show Magandang Umaga South Central Mindanao.
Panizales urged other firecracker victims who have not sought treatment to immediately go to the nearest health center or hospital.
She warned that even a small or slight wound could result to serious complications like tetanus if not properly treated.
“Firecrackers and fireworks contain certain chemicals that might contaminate and worsen the injuries,” she added. (MindaNews)