DOH-6 advocates for safe, healthy holiday celebration

Dr. Fritzi Ann Suzette Jeroso-Dequito, DOH-6 Health Promotion Unit head explains the three key components of “Ligtas Christmas sa Healthy Pilipinas” campaign during a press conference on December 5 at Iloilo City Hall Media Lounge.

By Mariela Angella Oladive

In a proactive move to ensure a safe and healthy holiday season, the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) initiated the “Ligtas Christmas sa Healthy Pilipinas” campaign, promoting responsible and health-conscious Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Dr. Fritzi Ann Suzette Jeroso-Dequito, Health Promotion Unit head, during a press conference on December 5, highlighted the campaign’s focus on encouraging Filipino families to celebrate the holidays responsibly, encompassing three key components: Healthy Handaan, Healthy Celebrations, and Iwas Paputok.

The first component, “Healthy Handaan,” encourages Filipino families to adopt a well-balanced, well-moderated, and varied diet, following the Pinggang Pinoy food guide.

The campaign suggests limiting the intake of sugary beverages and foods while promoting an active lifestyle during the holiday season. Additionally, the avoidance of alcohol intake is noted to reduce the risk of illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as injuries from accidents.

For Healthy Celebrations, the campaign underscores the significance of physical and mental well-being. Recommendations include wearing masks if feeling unwell, practicing frequent handwashing, opting for safe and age-appropriate gifts, and prioritizing mental health through adequate rest and maintaining social connections.

Dr. Dequito assured that the DOH’s Mental Health Connect Crisis hotline is ready to assist those going through difficult situations.

The third component, “Iwas Paputok,” aims to prevent fireworks-related injuries. Families are urged to turn to safer alternatives to traditional fireworks, such as pans, bells, sound systems, and other light-emitting devices.

Furthermore, all hospitals under the Department of Health, as well as provincial and district hospitals and other health facilities, are directed to provide emergency medical services upon declaration of Code White alert. They should also designate specific areas for managing injuries related to fireworks and report such cases through the Fireworks-Related Injury Surveillance System.

The LGUs are urged to enforce updated protocols on minimum public health standards and prevent fireworks-related injuries, aligning with the “Ligtas Christmas sa Healthy Pilipinas” campaign. National government agencies are encouraged to support the initiative by participating in campaign events, strategies, or activities while adhering to safety guidelines for a secure holiday celebration.

As part of the campaign, a regional summit is also scheduled for December 11, bringing together various stakeholders, including Barangay Health Workers (BHW), Health Promotion Officers, students, Municipal Health Officers, Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Bureau of Fire (BFI).

The summit will address crucial aspects of health and emergency management, reinforcing the commitment to a ‘Ligtas Christmas sa Healthy na Pilipinas.’