ROJOSON’S Advocacy Against Unnecessary Firecrackers Injuries – 2012 – 2013

ROJOSON’S Advocacy Against Unnecessary Firecrackers Injuries – 2012 – 2013

As a surgical resident in the Philippine General Hospital from 1976 to 1981, I had this gruesome experience of seeing and treating patients with firecracker injuries every year-end.   I always ask myself out of frustration: when will they ever learn?

Up to now, whenever I think of fireworks at the turn of each year, I think of unnecessary or unwanted injuries from firecrackers.

In 2004, when I was the chairperson of the Department of Surgery in Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, I launched a campaign to prevent unnecessary firecracker injuries in the City of Manila.  I wrote a letter (dated October 22, 2004) to then Mayor Joselito Atienza, requesting for help to have an ordinance promulgated by the City of Manila Council banning the use of firecrackers by the public in the territory of the City of Manila during every new year celebration starting 2004.  I thought such kind of an ordinance was the most effective way of reducing, if not totally eliminating, the incidence of firecracker-related injuries in the City of Manila.

So far, as of 2012, I think only Davao City and Zamboanga City have such kind of ordinance.

2013 Update: As of 2013, Zamboanga City, Baguio City, and Muntinlupa have such kind of ordinances already.

December 2010 to first week of January 2011, I decided to put up a website, entitled: “Unwanted Firecracker Injuries” (https://sites.google.com/site/unwantedfirecrackersinjuries) to maintain my advocacy against unnecessary firecrackers injuries.  At present, the only thing I can do is to keep on reminding people on the risk of firecracker injuries and appeal to them to avoid.

Firecrackers and fireworks, no doubt, will be present in our midst because of tradition.  They will never be completely eliminated as they will continue to be used for celebrating milestones and occasions. To avoid unnecessary firecracker injuries, my recommendation is that firecrackers be sold to and used only by people trained and authorized to do the fireworks during special occasions and in safe places.  The rest of the citizenry should just watch and enjoy the fireworks at a safe place and be protected from firecracker injuries.

I support the Department of Health Iwas Paputok Campaign; Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction”or APIR (Give me five) Campaign; and other projects (like dancing to the music of Katy Perry’s ROAR).

I particularly like this advice:

In order to prevent injuries and deaths from firecracker/fireworks, the DOH advised the public to promote and participate in community fireworks display, use alternative noise- makers like car horns, cans, pots and pans, radio music, etc, to welcome the new year or join street parties, concerts, games and, most of all, use the time to reflect on the lessons of the past year and make resolutions for a better 2013.

Pls. help in the campaign against unnecessary firecracker injuries in the Philippines!

For details on ROJOSON’S Advocacy Against Unnecessary Firecrackers Injuries , visit: https://sites.google.com/site/unwantedfirecrackersinjuries/home

Dr. Reynaldo O. Joson

December 24, 2012; December 24, 2013

 

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