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Health Desk:

QUETTA: A seven-day special anti-polio campaign commenced on Monday, across 16 districts of Balochistan. The campaign aims to vaccinate 951,048 children against polio. More than 3,000 teams will participate, with 326 fixed sites and 222 transit sites established for the effort.

The Balochistan Emergency Operations Center highlighted the urgent need for this campaign due to the confirmed presence of the polio virus in the environment, specifically in the sewage water of Quetta. This poses a significant threat to the health of children under five, prompting the launch of this extensive vaccination drive.

Despite the comprehensive planning, the campaign faces several challenges. These include ensuring the reach of vaccination teams to all targeted children, especially in remote areas, and maintaining effective cold chain management for the vaccines. Additionally, security concerns for the vaccination teams remain a critical issue, requiring stringent measures to safeguard the health workers.

The campaign will cover districts such as Loralai, Killa Saifullah, Dukki, Osta Muhammad, Mastung, Sibi, Nasirabad, Kalat, Zhob, Sherani, Barkhan, Musakhel, Lasbela, Chaman, Killa Abdullah, and Sanjawi of Ziarat. Preparations, including the formation of teams and security arrangements, have been completed.

The Emergency Operations Center’s statement revealed that this year, Pakistan has reported eight polio cases, with six of them in Balochistan. The widespread detection of the polio virus in sewage highlights the risk of more children contracting this debilitating disease.

Authorities have urged parents to ensure their children receive the polio vaccine during this campaign to prevent any further cases. The cooperation of media and scholars has also been sought to raise awareness and encourage participation in the vaccination drive, aiming for no child to be left unvaccinated and vulnerable to polio.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.