27% drop in firecracker-related injuries for New Year 2018 – DOH

MANILA, Philippines – There were 463 firecracker-related injuries as Filipinos welcomed 2018, a drop of 27% from the previous year, announced the Department of Health (DOH) in a statement on Monday, January 8.

There were also no reported deaths, no cases of firecracker ingestion, and no stray bullet injuries recorded during the surveillance period from December 21, 2017 to January 5, 2018.

The regions with the most number of firecracker victims were the following:

In Metro Manila, nearly half of all victims were in the city of Manila:

According to the DOH, the injured ranged from 11 months to 69 years old. Majority (79%) are males. (READ: More than half of Western Visayas firecracker victims are minors)

Nearly half of all victims or 49% suffered injuries to their hands, 17% eyes, 14% forearms or arms, 13% head, and 9% legs.

The DOH also said 4% of the injured required amputation, with victims ranging from 3 to 62 years old.

The top firecrackers that caused injuries are the following:

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reminded the injured to watch out for possible tetanus.

"After all the number of fireworks-related injuries have been tallied, the DOH is not letting its guard down and is on the lookout for tetanus cases. We are reminding all those who have incurred some form of injury due to fireworks to please consult your nearest health facility for proper wound care and management," he said.

Duque earlier said the DOH was expecting a "downward trend" in the number of injuries because of President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order (EO) No. 28, which restricts the use of firecrackers to community fireworks displays. (READ: Locations of firecracker zones in Metro Manila for New Year's Eve)

Three people, including a village councilor, were arrested in Iloilo City for violating EO No. 28.

Duque has also said the DOH is considering recommending a total firecracker ban to Duterte eventually. But he reiterated that there should first be alternative sources of livelihood for firecracker vendors.

"Together with other authorities of the government, we shall intensify our drive against fireworks-related injuries until we achieve our target of zero casualty," the health chief added. – Rappler.com