MANILA — With the annual observance of the Holy Week underway, the Department of Health (DOH) is sharing advices to the people on how to be safe and comfortable while participating in the Lent activities.
In a press briefing held on Monday at the DOH Media Relations Unit (MRU) in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila, DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy issued some basic reminders for the public to ensure that good health is maintained while engaging in the religious activities this week.
He said it is important to bring enough water to avoid dehydration when participating in the Lenten season activities such as processions wherein exposure to extreme heat of the sun is unavoidable.
“It is important also that the participants wear comfortable clothes, especially if they will be taking part in Visita Iglesias and Stations of the Cross,” Dr. Lee-Suy added.
He also reminded that it is important to bring enough foods to avoid incidence of dizziness due to hunger.
He also advised the public to use umbrella or head coverings such as caps when exposing themselves to extreme heat of the sun.
According to him, whenever possible, devotees should seek a shady area where there is enough air to breath.
When bringing young children, he advised the parents or guardians to ensure that the youngsters have adequate information about themselves for easy identification and recovery in case they get lost.
He also gave some important reminders for those who will engage in crucifixion and self-flagellation as sacraments of penance for their sins or expression of their deeply-embedded religious belief.
He admitted that while the DOH itself is not in a position to discourage such forms of belief, he said it is important for them to also give the concerned “faithfuls” some helpful reminders to ensure their safety.
“Be sure that the instruments that will be used are properly cleansed and they should also check if the nails that will be used in the crucifixion are not rusty,” he said.
Dr. Lee-Suy explained it is important to have anti-tetanus shots prior to the activity that will inflict wound/s because open wounds are predisposed to infection, especially in dirty surroundings.
He stressed that proper cleansing of wound is important with clean soap and water.
He also said that taking of necessary antibiotics for seven days upon the advice of the doctor must be followed.
He also discouraged bathing on dirty rivers or bodies of water right after the practice of penance that led to open wounds.
He said that such open wounds will be susceptible to other harmful microorganisms present in the dirty source of water which may lead to tetanus infection.
Tetanus infection, when not properly treated, can lead to death.
According to DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin, it is important to remain healthy and safe in the celebration of summer and in observance of the Lent season.