Durban - KwaZulu-Natal department of health head Sandile Tshabalala has urged the public to be cautious and safe in their festivities as they welcome the New Year, and be aware of the hazards of alcohol and fireworks.
Tshabalala said alcohol consumption was a major contributor to avoidable calamities such as motor vehicle crashes, or interpersonal conflicts, which may result in serious injury, loss of a limb, or death.
He added that the abuse of the substance could lead to unprotected sex, resulting in unplanned pregnancy, and sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV, or both.
According to him, it is not uncommon to find patients – including children – in clinics and hospitals, with firecracker-related injuries to the eye, face, and fingers that may even need to be amputated.
“We’re therefore saying that everybody needs to be careful around this time. Drinking and driving is a problem. In ushering the New Year, we urge people to take care of themselves. Avoid alcohol, or don’t over-consume it.