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DOH warns: Firecracker wounds can lead to tetanus infection, death

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Fire-cracker injury

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is expecting more cases of firecracker-related injuries until the first week of next year.

In line with this, the DOH advises merry-makers to immediately go to the nearest hospital and seek medical help once hurt by firecracker to prevent tetanus infection.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo explains that any open wound such as burn or a cut caused by a firecracker is more likely to attract tetanus infection.

“Basta tayo ay naputukan kahit minor lang siya nasunog tayo kailangan talagang pumunta sa hospital kasi bibigyan ka ng anti- tetanus na injection kasama iyong toxoid at anti- tetanus serum,” Usec. Domingo said.

Domingo said only a few patients survive tetanus infection especially if the patient has not received the anti-tetanus vaccine.

Suspected cases of tetanus infection can be determined if a cut or a wound is followed by:

Stiffness of the neck, jaw, and other muscles, often accompanied by a distorted, grinning expression; difficulty swallowing; irritability; and uncontrollable spasms of the jaw commonly known as ‘lockjaw’.

Domingo said it is better to act ahead before the symptoms of tetanus infection manifest.

“Talagang nakakamatay po ang tetano. Maninigas. Iyong kanilang panga ay hindi gumagalaw. Nagku- kumbulsyon at sa katagalan ay namamatay within a week siguro or a few days so gusto natin i- prevent iyan,” the health official said.

In case of firework-related injuries, follow these three simple first-aid tips.

First, wash the injured part of the body with clean water.

Second, wrap the wound using clean cloth and bring the victim to the hospital immediately.

Third and for big wounds, use alkaline soap to clean the wound. Do not apply toothpaste or anything to the wound or burn.

As of press time, the DOH has recorded a total of 24 firecracker-related injuries since December 21, still lower than the same period last year.

Most of the victims are males age 2 to 49 years old.

The DOH has again reminded the public to refrain from purchasing and using strong and unauthorized firecrackers to be able to welcome the new year with a smile. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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Dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula up by 81%

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019

Dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula rose to 81 percent, according to the Department of Health (DOH) 9. Cases had reached 1,743 from January 1 to March 7, 2019.

Based on the report of the DOH 9, Zamboanga City reported 719 dengue cases, a 213% increase compared to the same period last year which recorded 230 cases. Zamboanga del Norte, on the other hand, recorded 499 cases which is a 222 percent increase from last year’s 155 cases.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga Sibugay recorded 175 dengue cases; Isabela City , Basilan, 99 cases; and Zamboanga Del Sur with 251.

READ: DOH: even a little water can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes

The DOH reminds residents to implement the 4-S campaign against dengue and work on controlling the mosquito population.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously said, “The first step to prevent dengue is within our homes. It is important to remove any space or container that can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites for mosquitoes.”—Aileen Cerrudo

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DOH calls for increased awareness vs. depression after Razorback drummer’s suicide

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Razorback drummer Brian Velasco. | Courtesy: Brian Velasco FB

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday (January 17) issued a statement calling on the public to help spread awareness against depression following the apparent suicide of drummer Brian Velasco of the ‘90s hard rock band, Razorback.

The 41-year-old drummer fell to his death on Wednesday (January 16) from the 34th floor roof deck of the City Land Tower in Vito Cruz, Malate, Manila, according to a report from Malate Police Station.

He broadcasted his suicide live on Facebook which went viral on social media.

The DOH in its statement calls on the public “to stop sharing the tragic video” in respect to the grieving family.

Instead, the department encourages the public “to start talking about depression to end the stigma surrounding mental health because when left unattended, it (depression) can lead to suicide.”

According to the DOH, about 3.3 million Filipinos suffer from depressive disorder with suicide rate higher in males at 2.5 and 1.7 females per 100,000.

The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, said 800,000 people die every year due to suicide and it is considered the second leading cause of death among individuals age 15 to 49 years old in the world.

The DOH encourages anyone who is suffering from depression or in need of help, to report to the agency’s 24-hour suicide prevention hotline numbers (02) 804-4673; 0917-5584673 or send a SMS to 2919 for globe and TM subscribers. — Marje Pelayo

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Firecracker-related injuries decline by 52% at 236 cases – DOH

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019


A victim of firecracker piccolo

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) noted a significant decline in the number of firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2018 to January 2, 2019.

This year’s tally, the DOH said, was 256, which is lower than the same period last year which was 492.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted, however, that there were still severe cases recorded this year.

“Mayroon pa rin tayong walong naputulan ng daliri. May 61 na tinamaan sa mata. Gusto pa rin natin na bumaba ito,” Domingo said,

Based on DOH’s record, Metro Manila tops the regions with the highest number of firecracker-related injuries, followed by Ilocos Region and Western Visayas.

Meanwhile, skyrockets or ‘kwitis’ tops the list of injury-causing firecrackers.

“Mayroon pa rin tayong piccolo, boga, at luces…5-star ang pinaka-common pa rin na injuries this year,” the health official said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously emphasized the strict implementation of firecracker zones because most firecracker-related injuries happen in streets or at home.

“So masaya tayo. Relatively speaking mababa. Pero mas masaya kung zero casualty. So palagay ko darating din ang panahon na zero casualty tayo. Mayroon tayong hinahabol na modelo ang Davao City,” Duque said noting Davao City for its record of zero-casualty in welcoming the new year.

Duque noted that most of the victims were high in alcohol.

Some were hurt while smoking cigarettes that sparked the firecracker.

Aside from firecracker ban, the DOH also encourages the public to do away from vices particularly drinking alcohol.

“Iyong manginginom kung pwede itigil ninyo na rin iyan. Dati may sinasabi safe amount of drinking alcohol. Wala ng safe amount kahit na small amount ay meron din banta sa ating kalusugan kaya itigil na  natin iyan,” Duque concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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