SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: At least 12 people had been injured in Region 12 as of Friday, December 30, resulting from mishandling of firecrackers, according to the regional health official.
Jenny Ventura, focal person of the Department of Health (DOH) 12 campaign against firecrackers, said they have launched a massive information drive on the danger of firecrackers and monitored 12 injuries since December 12, where 11 of the victims were male.
The 11 victims were active users of firecrackers and one was passive with ages ranging from five to 56.
Ventura said most of the victims lighted piccolo, a banned firecracker.
The Online National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (ONEISS) reported that the 12 cases of firecracker-related injuries came from North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal and General Santos.
Ventura said the number is 76 percent lower compared to that in the same period last year.
In last year’s monitoring by the Department of Health, she added, the DOH 12 recorded 64 firecracker-related injuries.
Nationwide, the DOH on Thursday reported 103 firework-related injuries since its monitoring began on December 21.
One was a victim of stray bullet in Nueva Ecija.
According to the DOH “Aksyon Paputok” Injury Reduction (APIR) 2016 report, the figure is 61 percent lower compared to the five-year average from 2011 to 2015, and is 49 percent lower compared to that in the same period last year.
The youngest victim was four years old.
Most of the victims suffered injuries in their hands, mostly in the eyes, arm and abdomen and one was a case of firecracker ingestion, Ventura said.
Common causes of injuries were piccolo, improvised cannon called boga, whistle bomb, kwitis, luces and other firecrackers.
Ventura said the monitoring of firecracker-related injuries, which ends on January 5, is done annually as part of efforts to discourage the public from lighting firecrackers to achieve zero-casualty during the holiday season.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL