SYLC Community Action Post 1: Healthy Children, Healthy Pakistan

By Waleed Akbar, SYLC Peace Semester 2016 Participant.

As part of the Peace Semester research work, participants were assigned topics to conduct their field research on. Hand washing is an activity that the SEPLAA Young Leaders want to promoted amongst their community and peers. -SYLC Team’s note. 

To promote hand washing in Pakistan amongst the community, the SEPLAA Young Leaders club has done research to prepare a puppet show which is planned to be presented at a school for underprivileged children. The idea is to promote hygiene in an interactive and entertaining way, which we hope will have an impact on the children. We hope that this will be a step in the improvement of hygiene awareness amongst the students and intend to continue this drive for a healthier Pakistan.

WASH which stands for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, is a program adopted by many NGOs in order to promote public health awareness. To date, the consultative process has involved over 70 leading organizations in the sector and proposals have been updated to reflect ongoing debate, and feedback received from experts and member states involved in developing the post-2015 agenda.

UNICEF is one of these organization which supports and carries out activities for this campaign.

‘Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.’-UNICEF

UNICEF identifies the lack of hygiene being intertwined with not only with health but with gender inequality.

‘Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water. ‘- UNICEF
Wanting to contribute to the millennium developmental goal, UNICEF works in more than 100 countries around the world to improve water supplies and sanitation facilities in schools and communities.

When it comes to hygiene, hand washing, a small buhandwashing-1t powerful step can change ones overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been studying the role of hand washing in preventing these diseases in the developing world.  In a series of randomized, controlled studies of intensive handwashing promotion in Pakistan,CDC researchers found about 50% fewer diarrheal and respiratory infections among young children in low-income households that received weekly handwashing promotion and a supply of soap for about a year, compared with households that did not receive these interventions. The disease reductions were similar whether households were given antibacterial or plain soap’ – Centers for disease control and prevention.

For further information on WASH and hygiene education in Pakistan, please visit:

  •  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n/a). Handwashing in the Developing World. Retrieved from:
  •  UNICEF (n/a). Water, sanitation, and hygiene. Retrieved from: