GET IN HERE MUMS: VACCINE REMINDER BRACELETS!

GET IN HERE MUMS: VACCINE REMINDER BRACELETS!

Every year around the world, 4 million children die before their 5th birthday, and 1 out of 5 of these deaths are a result of vaccine-preventable diseases.Vaccine preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, pertussis, and tetanus are leading cause of child deaths in Nigeria, Colombia and Pakistan. Like in Nigeria, 30% of all under-5 deaths are as a result of these diseases. Besides death, the associated disabilities exert physical, social and economic burden on children, their families and communities. It has been shown that more than 600,000 children lives can be saved and $17bn in economic losses averted in Nigeria over a 10-year period if the country can achieve 90% coverage with Hib, Pertussis, Pneumococcal, measles and rotavirus vaccines. The importance of vaccines cannot be over emphasized.

There are many reasons why children aren’t immunized on time. One major reason is that parents don’t remember the vaccination dates. A simple innovation has been designed to prevent that problem: a Vaccine Reminder Bracelet  for mothers.

The innovation is distributed by the non-profit social enterprise Alma Sana Inc., founded by Lauren Braun. Alma Sana, which means healthy soul in Spanish, was founded on the belief that every child, no matter where he or she lives, should have access to life-saving vaccines on time.

During a college summer internship in Peru in 2009, Lauren noticed that many times mothers are given paper slips with the next appointment date in the hospital (which quickly gets lost or the dates forgotten) for keeping track of their children’s immunization records. As a result, indigenous, low income moms weren’t remembering to bring their children to the clinic for vaccinations on time even though these vaccines were free and available; yet they knew  that these vaccines were important for their children’s health. In many cases, the nurses had to leave over-crowded clinics to go door to door in remote villages to remind moms of vaccine appointments.

With all of these factors in mind, Lauren saw a clear need for a simple tool to help moms. She designed a simple bracelet so that moms could remind themselves of their children’s vaccination dates. These bracelets were designed to fit the needs of uneducated moms living below 400 naira a day. The bracelets use only numbers and symbols, to convey every child’s entire vaccination record. By looking at this bracelet a mom knows the number and type of vaccine her child received and the date of the child’s next one. And the interesting part is that these bracelets are highly customizable to local culture and needs. And it costs less that fifty naira each. They are also waterproof, durable, comfortable, and baby safe. Beyond serving as a reminder, the bracelet can help increase a mom’s awareness about the individual vaccinations her child requires and has received.  This is targeted to build moms who are community champions for vaccines.

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The product has gained much recognition. It is included on UNICEF’s Innovation Map 2014 as an innovative solution for children’s health adapted to fit local needs, Lauren was a Nominee for Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs 2014, and the organization was a Nominee for CLASSY Awards, the largest social impact award in the US [].

Lauren plans to expand the bracelets to Nigeria, where the innovation is currently a finalist in the inaugural Nigeria Health Innovation Challenge (NHIM). Alma Sana has partnered with the Nigerian team of the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) of Johns Hopkins University, Direct Consulting and Logistics, LLC (DCL), and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) to bring the intervention to thousands of parents and children in rural and urban Nigeria. The goal of this phase of work is to determine the bracelets’ impact on getting children vaccinated fully and on time. With evidence of the bracelets’ cost-effectiveness, the next step would be to scale up in Nigeria at the district or national level. The team will find out later this month whether they have been awarded a grant from NHIM which will enable them to begin work in Nigeria.

You can read more about her work and make a tax-deductible donation to Alma Sana at:

http://www.almasanaproject.org/

 

The innovation is distributed by the non-profit social enterprise Alma Sana Inc., founded by Lauren Braun. Alma Sana, which means healthy soul in Spanish, was founded on the belief that every child, no matter where he or she lives, should have access to life-saving vaccines on time.

During a college summer internship in Peru in 2009, Lauren noticed that many times mothers are given paper slips with the next appointment date in the hospital (which quickly gets lost or the dates forgotten) for keeping track of their children’s immunization records. As a result, indigenous, low income moms weren’t remembering to bring their children to the clinic for vaccinations on time even though these vaccines were free and available; yet they knew  that these vaccines were important for their children’s health. In many cases, the nurses had to leave over-crowded clinics to go door to door in remote villages to remind moms of vaccine appointments.

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With all of these factors in mind, Lauren saw a clear need for a simple tool to help moms. She designed a simple bracelet so that moms could remind themselves of their children’s vaccination dates. These bracelets were designed to fit the needs of uneducated moms living below 400 naira a day. The bracelets use only numbers and symbols, to convey every child’s entire vaccination record. By looking at this bracelet a mom knows the number and type of vaccine her child received and the date of the child’s next one. And the interesting part is that these bracelets are highly customizable to local culture and needs. And it costs less that fifty naira each. They are also waterproof, durable, comfortable, and baby safe. Beyond serving as a reminder, the bracelet can help increase a mom’s awareness about the individual vaccinations her child requires and has received.  This is targeted to build moms who are community champions for vaccines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAgi-NAwh_U

 

The product has gained much recognition. It is included on UNICEF’s Innovation Map 2014 as an innovative solution for children’s health adapted to fit local needs, Lauren was a Nominee for Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs 2014, and the organization was a Nominee for CLASSY Awards, the largest social impact award in the US [].

Lauren plans to expand the bracelets to Nigeria, where the innovation is currently a finalist in the inaugural Nigeria Health Innovation Challenge (NHIM). Alma Sana has partnered with the Nigerian team of the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) of Johns Hopkins University, Direct Consulting and Logistics, LLC (DCL), and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) to bring the intervention to thousands of parents and children in rural and urban Nigeria. The goal of this phase of work is to determine the bracelets’ impact on getting children vaccinated fully and on time. With evidence of the bracelets’ cost-effectiveness, the next step would be to scale up in Nigeria at the district or national level. The team will find out later this month whether they have been awarded a grant from NHIM which will enable them to begin work in Nigeria.

You can read more about her work and make a tax-deductible donation to Alma Sana at:

http://www.almasanaproject.org/

 

 

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