Ban all forms of fireworks!

in Medicine by

That’s all the solution to the injuries inflicted by all forms of fireworks.

The year in and year out reports of firecracker injuries dropping significantly by the year, under the present regulated law on “responsible” use of firecrackers, is hogwash. I have read that kind of news since I was in third grade, through my med school, and even after my orthopedic residency.

Still, how many hands and fingers have we amputated each year? How many lives are still to be taken before we say, “Stop this crack!” It’s always too late to cry (and too hard by the way) when you wipe your tears with an amputated hand, mind you.

The question really boils down to why our legislators could not pass a legislation and the government imposing a total ban on all form of firecrackers. Is it the taxes they pay? The jobs they provide? The earnings the firecracker and manufacturers get? Ever tried to account how much the government is spending (DOH Kontrapaputok or hospitalization) on injuries caused by this firecrackers?Of the personnel we “force” to take care of them instead rather than those disease we don’t have any control of? Of the functional lost and disability this people will incur? Read the real data on these fact legislators and maybe it’ll clear up your mind.

The success that the city of Davao has implemented this total ban on firecrackers since 2002 made me think its really a matter of policy and political will. I (who was trained in another medical center in Manila) actually is too surprised and happy that as of the last orthopedic conference in the biggest medical center in Davao City (where I now belong), we don’t have any firecracker injuries to manage!And Davao City people (except for a few unscrupulous citizens now languishing in jail) has live that way since 2002!

I laud the DOH and secretary Francisco Duque III for pushing (an amendment to RA 7183) for a total ban on all forms of firecrackers in the Philippines. From the perspective of health care, efficiency of providing services and the health of our eardrums, hands and our lives, such  ban is the best new year news we can get!

Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is Chief of Clinics at General Santos Medical Center and Medical Specialist II Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (www.remomd.com).