DOH advises Lenten penitents: Seek a doctor after engaging in crucifixion and self-flagellation

By , on April 2, 2015

"Cutud Lenten Rites" by Barrera Marquez / Wikimedia Commons
“Cutud Lenten Rites” by Barrera Marquez / Wikimedia Commons

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) advised on Wednesday those who will be engaging themselves into self-flagellation and crucifixion this Holy Week to immediately consult a doctor after performing such rituals and practices.

“It is important that they immediately seek the advice of a physician so that they can be given the proper medicines for the safe and immediate healing of their wounds,” said DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy

He added that the physician’s advice on the proper antibiotics to be taken must be heeded to avoid any untoward complications on the part of those who would submit themselves to self-flagellation or crucifixion.

Dr. Lee-Suy earlier reminded them to ensure the cleanliness of the nails that will be used in the crucifixion process as well as the instruments that will be used for self-flagellation.

He also warned them against lying down in dirty surroundings after the crucifixion and self-flagellation to prevent being predisposed to infection and tetanus which sometimes can lead to death.

As a precaution, he earlier advised the penitents who engage in such rituals as a “tradition” and form of cultural belief to heed the call of the DOH for them to seek anti-tetanus shots first or immediately after the act itself.

He stressed it is important that the open wounds incurred by the penitents will be properly cleansed with soap and clean water.

The DOH spokesperson also said that they are discouraging those who have wounds from taking a bath in dirty sources of water due to the presence of water contaminants and bacteria that may infect the wound instead of healing them.

He said that while the DOH itself is not in the position to stop those who have cultural beliefs in engaging themselves in some form of penitence as a way of remorse for their sins or as a form of solemn “vow,” proper hygiene and safe practice should not be forgotten to avoid serious consequences.

At the same time, Dr. Lee-Suy reminded those who will take part in processions and the traditional Visita Iglesia to ensure that they bring with them enough drinking water to avoid dehydration.

He said it will also be good if the clothes that they wear are comfortable ones or will make them look and feel fresh.

He also encouraged them to bring umbrellas or caps as protection from the heat of the sun.

About foods, he advised that it is better if packed foods are properly checked before eating them since foods easily get spoiled during summer.

He said it is best to bring crackers or biscuits instead of taking the risk of buying foods that they are not sure about the handling and preparation from the street food sellers.

He also recommended the application of sun-block if the exposure to direct heat of the sunlight will be prolonged to avoid possible radioactive elements.

He noted that since all the government hospitals are under White Code Alert, the readiness of doctors, nurses and other health workers to attend to any untoward emergency situations is in place.

“Under the Code White Alert, those health personnel who are under off-duty status are expected to report to work in case that they need to augment the health workers on duty,” he explained. (