Firecracker injuries drop 35 percent, health department says

The number of Filipinos injured from firecracker-related accidents has dropped by 35 percent, the Department of Health’s (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III announced yesterday.

A statement released by the DOH said that from Dec. 21, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2020, there were 164 fireworks-related injuries, which is 87 cases lower than the number reported in the same period last year. The DOH also said that the number is 71 percent lower than the five-year (2014 to 2018) average of 403 cases.

Most of those injured were residents of the National Capital Region (84), while the rest are from CALABARZON (13), Ilocos Region (12), Central Luzon (11), Cagayan Valley and Western Visayas (10 each). Seventy percent of those injured were men, with the age of victims ranging from one to 71 years old. Most of those injured (63 percent) were under the age of 15.

Read: 7-year-old boy loses two fingers to firecracker blast

Duque said in a presser at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City yesterday that the reduction could be credited to the government’s efforts to regulate firecracker use, as well as the “unrelenting” rain brought by several typhoons.

“Nature, this time, took the side of DOH. It has been raining in the past several days and unrelentingly so this also contributed to the substantive reduction of fireworks-related injuries,” Duque said.

Firecracker-related injuries used to be common until the early 2000s, with some victims being injured so severely that their hands had to be amputated. However, the Health Department has campaigned against the use of major firecrackers, while the government has arrested those who produce and sell them.

The DOH said that 55 percent of the victims were harmed while they were out celebrating in the streets while 43 percent were injured at home. Most were injured in their hands (32 percent), eyes (26 percent), head (13 percent), legs (11 percent), and arms (nine percent).

This article, Firecracker injuries drop 35 percent, health department says, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!