Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Member National Assembly (MNA) Naz Baloch on Friday called for a national and stakeholder consensus of politicians and governments at all levels for achieving universal hand hygiene in the country. The Parliamentary Secretary was addressing the national dialogue organised by the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), UNICEF and GIZ in connection with global hand washing day. Naz Baloch said the policymakers were all aware of hazards of poor water, sanitation and hand hygiene (WASH) management. The schools in various districts and tehsils of the country lacked basic information of WASH and maintained poor facilities of personal cleanliness. “These school children need to be educated about the value and importance of cleanliness and hygiene and we as legislators are focusing this area. The awareness campaigns are good but its scale is small and needed to be extended to district level population,” she said underlining the need for improved surveys to maintain proper data of schools and WASH facilities along with a third party monitoring to ensure transparency. She added that door to door awareness at district level should be embedded in national strategy whereas the teacher training on WASH was must to train students at the basic level. The Parliamentary Secretary also called for the strengthening of provincial health departments. “The government of Pakistan is making all out efforts to create awareness among masses on cleanliness and WASH. This is the very basic and primary part of human life that should be done at the very young age of kids. It’s a social responsibility to have hand washing facilities on roads to encourage masses to adopt hygienic life style.” There were many gastrointestinal diseases common in Pakistan whereas its rural areas were the most affected one, she said, adding, “We should ensure that we reach them and spread this message further.” “The challenge is huge and needs a holistic response. No doubt hand washing is one of the strategy of the government to fight COVID-19. I call all stakeholders to join hands to revive the same spirit and commitment to achieve universal hand hygiene,” she said highlighting that the parliament’s role this time would be important to ensure participation and support of all political parties in achieving WASH targets as the country had scarcity of funds and mammoth tasks to achieve.