CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–The Department of Health (DOH)–10 spearheads the practice of a safe and healthy celebration this holiday season through their ‘Padayon ang Paskong Pilipino’ advocacy which addresses the nation’s distinct needs of balancing traditional yuletide practices and adherence to health safety measures brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic.
“Yearly, the Department of Health together with our partner agencies promote a safe and healthy celebration of the yuletide season but this year is different, because we are just not limiting ourselves with ‘Iwas Paputok’ but are also preventing the spread of COVID-19,” says DOH-10 Non-communicable Disease Head Dr. Tristan Jediah Labitad.
With their ‘Padayon and Paskong Pilipino’ initiative, the DOH-10 aims to drive their message forward by making use of both their ‘Healthy Pilipinas’ and ‘BIDA Solusyon sa COVID-19’ campaigns, focusing on four main sub-ideas: Iwas Paputok (Fireworks-related injuries prevention), Healthy na Handaan (Safe and Healthy food consumption), BIDA sa Pagsaulog (Adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols), and Luwas na Regalo (Safe gift and toys).
“When celebrating the holidays, our first advocacy is ‘Iwas Paputok’, how do we avoid fire work related injuries? There are many ways, like making noise with tambourines or other creative ways, we will not let any of our family members become victims of Paputok because there are far too many lives lost and limbs damaged because of it,” he said, citing an increase of firework-related injuries in the country by 21 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.
Also, Labitad urges households to practice ‘Healthy na Handaan’ to prevent developing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular problems, and respiratory issues, noting that most Filipinos are used to eating ham, humba, lechon, and other fatty meals during the holidays but should not neglect the fact that it should only be taken in moderation.
“On top of our eating habits, there are more ways of making our celebrations healthier, from the drinks we consume and the activities we do,” he added.
Their third and priority sub-campaign out of the four sub-campaigns, ‘BIDA sa Pagsaulog,’ encourages Filipino households to be informed and empower them to practice different ways to prevent COVID-19 during family gatherings and celebrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic by using BIDA (Bawal wala’y mask, I-Sanitize ang mga kamot, Distansya sa usa ka metro, and Aksyon sa saktong impormasyon).
Lastly, DOH’s ‘Luwas na Regalo’ aims to educate parents and gift givers to be more mindful when choosing presents especially for children to prevent potential injuries and mortalities.“In our yearly celebration, we should not forget to always put health and safety first,” Labitad said. (VPSB/PIA10)