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How to Greet the New Year
« on: December 27, 2017, 05:42:53 AM »
Iloilo City (30 December 2005) -- For reasons of economics and safety, the Department of Health is recommending the use of alternative noise - makers instead of the traditional firecrackers.

To reduce firecrackers and fireworks related injuries and death, DOH launched its own formula to counter the incident. "FOURmula Kontra Paputok" was laid out by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to heighten awareness of the public on the four ways of preventing firecrackers and fireworks related injuries and deaths during the holidays. The campaign asks the public and the local government units to find alternative means of merry making other than the use of firecrackers.

"FOURmula Kontra Paputok" advocates safe ways of making noise. It has four basic pointers that address the most common ways people injure themselves during the festivities of the holidays: 1. It is better to use pots, pans and paper horns; 2. never pick up the firecrackers that fail to explode; 3. immediately wash wounds with soap and water and go to the nearest hospital for treatment and 4. never fire guns to greet the New Year.

"People use firecrackers as noisemakers for luck, but it is definitely not lucky if you lose a limb or get hurt this season," the health chief emphasized. Further, he added that this year's campaign would focus on males aged 10-19 years and those below 10 years, which are the most affected groups.

It is better and less costly to use palangganas, torotots, pots and pans than the traditional and injury-causing firecrackers according to the Health Secretary.

Based on statistics last year, Western Visayas has 30 firecrackers and fireworks related cases third to Ilocos Region which is second with 36 cases and topped by the National Capital Region with 393 cases. Of those injured, 56% directly handled firework, 29% were onlookers, and 15% were passersby.

Last year, 50 different sentinel sites nationwide also reported 585 injuries from 21 December 2004 to 1 January 2005. These injuries were 15% lower compared to the same period in the previous year. Of the total number of injuries, 548 were due to fireworks, 33 were stray bullet cases while 4 cases of watusi ingestion.

On the use of liquor, majority (76%) of those injured was not under the influence of liquor, while only about 20% were intoxicated. Most (70%) injuries occurred on the street, 27% were sustained at home, while the rest were not indicated where injuries were sustained.

"A surefire formula for a joyous and peaceful revelry is to welcome the New Year with prayer and to practice safe alternative ways of merry making without the use of the injury-causing firecrackers," Duque concluded. (PIA/EAD

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