Maputo — Maputo Central Hospital recorded 18 cases of people injured by fireworks, some of them seriously, during New Year’s Eve festivities.
The hospital spokesperson, Dr Raul Cossa, told AIM that the situation is a matter of concern, because the number of fireworks injuries has increased substantially compared to a year ago, when 12 cases were reported.
Children and adults alike have been injured by the inappropriate use of fireworks. They contracted injuries and burns to their faces, eyes and hands. In the most serious cases, doctors were forced to amputate fingers.
“We are very concerned at the improper use of fireworks because plenty of warnings were issued”, said Cossa. “Unfortunately, we now have people whose hands will be damaged for life”.
He added that in the period 31 December-1 January, 604 people sought treatment in the various units of Maputo Central Hospital. 412 of these were seen at the emergency section (compared with 334 the previous year).
Of these, 162 were trauma victims, including those injured in 34 traffic accidents in the city.
There were no fatalities in the traffic accidents, but two of those injured are in intensive care.
The number of people hospitalized because of physical assaults more than doubled compared with the previous year, rising from 14 to 36. These included ten people who were knifed and one suffering from a gunshot wound.
Additional staff were allocated to the medical teams on duty on New Year’s Eve and Cossa thought there had been enough doctors and nurses to meet the demand. The stocks of blood required for serious cases also proved sufficient.