LEGAZPI CITY (21-Dec-2012/PNA) – The Department of Health (DOH) Bicol regional office based in this city is optimistic that a zero-casualty can be achieved during Christmas and New Year celebrations this year even as the department raises Code White Alert nationwide from Dec. 21, 2012 until Jan. 5, 2013.
DOH-hospitals under Code White Alert in the region are the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City, the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City and the Bicol Sanitarium (BS) in Cabusao, Camarines Sur.
Code White is a state of alertness wherein hospitals are anticipating 50 holiday-related injuries especially firecracker-related casualties. Logistics and manpower should be made ready during said period, said DOH Bicol director Gloria J. Balboa.
The Bicol Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) Operations Center has been on 24/7 since Friday morning to constantly monitor events related to the observance of the holidays.
Balboa said DOH personnel who are on leave may be recalled to render duty on such days if there is a need.
Dr. Rosa Maria B. Rempillo, medical specialist III and HEMS coordinator for Bicol, said that medical facilities under local government units (LGU) such as municipal, district or provincial hospitals are also enjoined to follow the Code White status. Existing regulations require an integrated response when it comes to health emergencies.
LGUs that enacted anti-firecracker ordinances or have designated areas for firecracker activities have been commended by DOH and HEMS. “Such ordinances helped reduce the number of firecracker-related casualties. From a recorded number of 62 casualties in year 2010, it decreased to 52 in 2011. We hope for a ZERO casualty this year,” Rempillo said.
In Albay province, Gov. Joey Salceda launched “Iwas Paputok 2012” program in an effort to achieve zero-casualty during holiday celebrations this year and early days of 2013.
A caravan of fire trucks, ambulances, and military and police vehicles went around the province early Friday morning encouraging full public support emphasizing that the dangers of mishandling pyrotechnics usually cause damages to health, properties and even lives. (PNA)