DOH says fireworks-related injuries post "historic" 68% decline
The Department of Health (DOH) recorded a "historic" 68 percent decline or a total number of 139 fireworks-related injuries as of Tuesday morning, January 1, 2019.
In a press conference Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said compared to last year’s 428 cases during December 21, 2017 to January 1, 2018, as well as the previous years, this year’s drop was the biggest.
“We are happy to see a 68 percent decline in the number of cases but we also expect cases to increase as there are late reports still coming from other regions,” Duque said.
“I believe this is a historic, biggest reduction in the number of fireworks related injuries,” he added.
Duque said the decline in the fireworks-related cases can be due to Executive Order 28 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte and rains in the past days.
“Nature took the side of the DOH as it has been raining the past several days unrelentingly,” Duque explained.
He also added that the department's campaign using graphic photos of fireworks related injuries in posters commercials was also effective this year.
Out of the 139 cases, two were caused by fireworks ingestion. DOH said there were no deaths and stray bullet injury reported for this year.
Eighty-one percent of victims were males with ages ranging from 2 ? 69 years old. Majority of the cases were of blast or burn without amputation while five required amputations. Most victims were active users of fireworks while 36 percent of victims were just bystanders.
According to Duque, there was a relative increase in the number of eye injury cases with 36 this year. Data from DOH showed that the illegal firecracker boga was the main cause.
"It's the boga that sort of compensated. The use of piccolo decline from number one to number three while boga rose to number one," said Duque.
The top fireworks which caused injuries this year were boga with 176 cases, kwitis with 30, piccolo ? which used to be the main cause of injuries during the previous years ? had 15 this year, luces with eight, and five star and triangle with seven cases each.
Majority of the cases are from the National Capital Region (NCR) with a total of 53 cases. Meanwhile, there were 26 cases in Western Visayas, and Central Luzon and CALABARZON with 10 cases each.
Duque said 73 incidents happened in the streets, 59 at home and two in designated fireworks display areas. According to the health secretary, cases which occurred in fireworks display areas were located in Manila and Batangas City.
"Obviously this is a setback but we need to identify the exact underlying reason," he said, "one of the underlying or possible reason can be that there is a mismanagement of the community fireworks display."
Duque said the DOH will continue to keep track of the number of fireworks related injuries for the following days.
“Most additional injuries during this time may arise from children picking up unexploded fireworks in the streets,” he added.
DOH will record injuries caused by fireworks until January 5. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS