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Santa Marta has a low rate of gunpowder burns

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Santa Marta has a low rate of gunpowder burns

Santa Marta, in line with the national campaign ‘Let’s celebrate differently #EstaEnTusManos’ promoted by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection in collaboration with the National Institute of Health (INS), exhibits a low rate of gunpowder burns in the December celebrations. Although official statistics do not place these regions as those with the highest incidence, recommendations are intensified to maintain security during the festivities.

The campaign, which seeks to prevent gunpowder burns during the Christmas season, has deployed significant efforts in various locations throughout the country. Although the capital of Magdalena shows an unemployment rate of 7.2%, surpassed by Bucaramanga, and is positioned below other cities in the Caribbean region, the focus is on promoting safe behavior in celebrations.

Despite not appearing in national records as one of the regions with the most people burned with gunpowder, Magdalena has registered 24 cases in December 2022 and January 2023, of which 8 correspond to Santa Marta, according to reports from the Ministry of Health.

During the last period of intensified surveillance, which includes the months of December 2022 and January 2023, 1,153 cases of gunpowder injuries were reported in Colombia, with a slight decrease of 1.71% compared to the previous period.

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The geographic focus places Nariño, Antioquia and Bogotá at the top of the list of reported cases, highlighting the national distribution of the incidents. The majority of injuries were caused by the handling of gunpowder (71%), and 20% corresponded to observers. ‘Totes’, flyers, rockets, flares and volcanoes are the most commonly used devices.

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In addition to the predominant injuries, such as burns (92%) and lacerations (64.3%), poisoning with adulterated liquor is reported. In total, 54 cases were reported, with a fatality rate of 70%. Three children under five years of age were poisoned by ingesting white phosphorus.

The report also warns about the risk for minors due to the handling of pyrotechnic devices and the ingestion of waste, such as white phosphorus or the so-called ‘totes’, which are highly lethal. Giovanny Rubiano García, general director of the INS, emphasizes the importance of celebrating responsibly and calls on territorial health entities to strengthen their surveillance actions.

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In this context, the technical reports of those injured by gunpowder and those intoxicated by alcohol adulterated with methanol and white phosphorus will be reported daily to the National Public Health Surveillance System, ensuring a timely response from the competent authorities.

The data: Of the registered burns, 357 were under 18 years of age and 796 were of legal age.

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