Founded in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2012, Alma Sana Inc. is a social enterprise aimed at reducing health inequalities among populations. Alma Sana believes in achieving this goal through involvement, education, and empowerment of local populations and through partnership with multisectoral healthcare professionals and advocates in developing and developed countries. Alma Sana also strives to establish equitable relationships with the countries’ local charities, government entities, and healthcare systems in an effort to collectively improve the well-being and lives of the people it serves. Alma Sana Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Alma Sana means healthy soul in Spanish, and it alludes to the idea that when the mind and the body are healthy, so is the soul.
Vision and Mission
Vision: Our dream is that all children will live to see their fifth birthday, which marks the end of the most vulnerable period of life. Once children reach their fifth birthday, their risk of dying of vaccine-preventable diseases greatly decreases. Over half of all deaths of children under age 5 could be prevented, largely by vaccines. We work to increase immunization rates by giving resource-poor mothers a simple reminder bracelet, worn by her child, that tracks the dates of her child’s immunization appointments.
Mission: To ensure that every child, no matter where he or she is born, has timely access to life-saving vaccines.
Use of this bracelet will enable mothers to more easily track the immunization records of their children, resulting in more children living to age five. Furthermore, nurses will be able to see more patients at their clinics, and the Peruvian Ministry of Health will cut the total costs of immunization. The bracelet is simple and non-mechanical in design, inexpensive to manufacture, and uses symbols instead of words to convey vaccine information, so the information can be easily understood to the illiterate, Quechua-speaking mothers. By looking at the bracelet, a mother will know the number and type of vaccines her child has received at any point in time and the date of the child’s next immunization. To supplement the bracelet, posters and note cards containing the same graphical information as the bracelet will be distributed to mothers and nurses. The World Health Organization estimates that globally 1.5 million children die of vaccine-preventable diseases each year and accounts for nearly 20% of all mortality of children under age five.
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Each year around the world 4 million children die before age 5, and 1 out of 5 of those children dies of a vaccine-preventable disease. During a college summer internship in Cusco, Peru, our founder Lauren noticed that indigenous, low-income moms weren’t remembering to bring their children in to the clinic for vaccinations on time, although vaccines were available for free and moms knew vaccines were important for their children’s health.
The reason moms came late was because they were handed a small paper reminder, which quickly got lost and the date forgotten. That meant that nurses had to leave overcrowded clinics to go door-to-door in remote villages to remind moms, and unused vaccines expired and had to be thrown out.
After learning more about the problem from nurses and moms, Lauren designed a simple bracelet adapted to their resource-poor environment so that moms could remind themselves of their children's vaccination dates.
Later, Lauren founded Alma Sana Inc., a nonprofit social enterprise, whose mission is to ensure that every child, no matter where he or she lives, gets life-saving vaccinations on time. After a very successful initial research study in Peru and Ecuador funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we’re ready to reach more moms and babies and measure our impact, together with our partners and your financial support.