ISLAMABAD (APP) - Minister of State for Health Chaudhry Muhammad Afzal Sandhu on Saturday said Prime Minister's Action Plan for polio eradication will be launched soon to make the country polo-free in shortest possible time. Addressing a joint press conference along with Regional Director World Health Organization (WHO) EMRO Region Dr. Hussein A. Gezairy, the minister said WHO has agreed to provide technical assistance besides mobilizing development partners to provide resources in this regard. He said both WHO and the government agreed to further enhance cooperation in the health sector in areas including polio eradication, TB control, prevention and control of hepatitis, health emergencies preparedness and response and primary health care. The minister said the government has decided to strengthen its national programme for prevention and control of hepatitis to focus energies on behavior change, early detection and creating awareness among public about the disease. He said that hepatitis B vaccination is now part of Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI) to ensure that all newborns are immunized against Hepatitis B. The minister said under the programme the government would also encourage research in cost-effective treatment of hepatitis keeping in view the huge burden of hepatitis B and C. He said during deliberations between the WHO and the ministry of Health, both sides agreed to jointly take a lead role in mobilizing national and international partners' support to reduce the burden of the disease by scaling up interventions. He added such interventions included EPI coverage for Hepatitis B, screening and testing of blood, implementation and maintenance of infection control practices and creating awareness and behavior change among the general public and healthcare workers. He said WHO is extending all possible technical assistance to the forthcoming National Health Policy that will ensure health for all through a system, which is efficient, equitable and effective to ensure affordable health services. Dr. Hussein A. Gezairy said an efficient and effective primary health care is the core of health delivery system. He appreciated the efforts of government of Pakistan to integrate services at the primary level. He said the Government has assured full commitment to achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) related to the health sector.