1 out of 5 of those children could have seen their 5th birthday if they had received their vaccines.
Adequate health care and access to vaccinations are major problems in developing countries. There are many factors that contribute to these issues including a low number of health care workers, lack of funding for public health, lack of education, transportation difficulties, and much more.
Alma Sana Inc. is one organization working to solve some of these problems. The founder, Lauren Braun, invented an innovative and life-saving concept- the Alma Sana vaccine reminder bracelet.
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a study was done in 2013 to test the feasibility of the Alma Sana bracelet. 167 mother-child pairs in Peru and Ecuador participated in the study until the child reached the age of 6 months. To participate, the child simply needed to wear the bracelet to see if it helped the mothers to remember vaccination appointments. At the end of the study period, mothers and nurses were asked about the effectiveness of the bracelets. Overall the responses were positive with 87% of mothers recommending the bracelets to other parents and 91% of moms said the bracelet was helpful in reminding them of the vaccination dates.
Through August 20th, Alma Sana is having a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the second phase of study for these vaccine reminder bracelets. This study will include Nigeria, Pakistan and Colombia. The purpose of this study will be to prove the effectiveness of the bracelets further by following 5,000 mother-child pairs for a full year. Phase II of this study is critical in scaling up production and getting these bracelets to the people who need them. Check out this video to learn more about this next step-
To learn more about Alma Sana, visit their website www.almasanaproject.org or check out this TEDx Talk from Lauren HERE.
To learn more about vaccinations and their importance, visit the World Health Organization.