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Province of South Cotabato

Surge in Fireworks-Related Injuries Raises Concerns in South Cotabato

South Cotabato, Philippines—Local health authorities plans to work out on the increase in firework-related injuries as cases is at 39 as of January 5, 2024 according to the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU).

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, Provincial Health Officer, presented that there was a 44 percent higher in firework-related injuries compared to the same period last year. However, in the last five years South Cotabato recorded an average 25 cases surge every year or 56 percent increase in the last five years.

“Majority of the victims are teenagers. We have received report that the person who was amputated was under the influence of liquor,” Dr. Aturdido reported.

The record showed that majority of the cases were male (95%). Age ranges from 5 years old to 56 years old (Median 16 years old) with 10-19 as the most involved age group (Figure 2). Cases were from Koronadal (17), Tupi (6), Polomolok (5), Surallah (4), Banga (2), Norala (2), Lake Sebu (1), Santo Nino (1), and T’boli (1).

Majority of the cases (85%) were actively handling the fireworks. Twenty-seven cases (69%) occurred at home, while the remaining twelve cases (31%) took place on the street.  More than half of the firecracker-related cases (67%) were attributed to illegal firecrackers.  The leading type of injuries were blast/ burn injury without amputation (77%).  No fireworks-related deaths have been reported, and there are no incidents of stray bullet injuries.

“We need to strengthen our strategies in  fireworks-related injuries campaign,” Aturdido added.

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