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Paputok: Hard Habit to Break

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A version of the TV ad on APIRA version of the TV ad on APIR

 

Towards the end of 2011 and onto the first few days of January, the Department of Health and its partners took a 360-degree turn in its fireworks and firecrackers injury prevention campaign strategy that veered away from showing graphic mutilated fingers as a result of firecracker blast and instead focused on a complete set of fingers that represented five reminders to prevent injury and five suggestions to keep safe while celebrating the holidays. The campaign was called APIR or Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction. The acronym hinted at a common goal and symbolized people in agreement and Filipinos as one in reducing or even eliminating paputok-related injury cases.

 

The DOH even launched "Goodbye Paputok," a compact disc (CD) containing nine tracks of firecracker sounds produced by the rock band, 6 Cycle Mind and packaged like a big triangle firecracker.

 

After all that was said and done, the year's revelry turned out to be the deadliest with a total of 4 deaths recorded. Three deaths were due to blast injuries while one was due to stray bullet. And for the whole surveillance period from December 21, 2011 to January 5, 2012 in 50 sentinel sites, the DOH registered a total of 1,021 injuries – only one case less from the total injuries in the previous year. Analyzing the surveillance reports in the last five years, the number of injuries has hit a plateau. Could it be that whether the campaign strategy becomes negative or positive, there would not be a big change in statistics? Let's all wait and see, same time this year and next year.

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