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Technical Advisory Group (TAG) chairperson on polio for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dr Jean Marc Olive, mentioned that the crippling virus is likely to be eradication from Balochistan by May 2017.

Pakistan has made progress in terms of eradication of polio virus and particularly female workers have rendered sacrifices in the country, he told reporters after chairing a meeting at Balochistan Polio Emergency Operation Centre in Quetta on Sunday.

“We are close to interrupt the virus transmission in Balochistan. The province has shown remarkable progress which is commendable; however, there are some gaps which needs to be filled to ensure that we reach every child."

Dr Jean termed eradication of polio virus from Pakistan and Afghanistan indispensable. Both countries will have to eradicate the virus since the virus in one country can affect another, he said.

Earlier, the tag chair had visited Pishin and Quetta where he appreciated the work of front line workers in high risk areas.

“We need to focus on intense monitoring of vaccination campaign at Afghan Refugees camps and vaccination points,” he said, adding that “low performing UCs are decreasing which is a positive sign for all of us but more collective efforts are needed to reach every child”.

Dr Jean appreciated the recruitment of permanent local community health workers in the high risk areas under community protected vaccination programme. Currently there are more than 2500 such permanent teams working in the highest risk areas.

Emergency Operation Cell (EOC) chief Syed Faisal Ahmed and other high level officials also participated in the meeting.