'Crecer y Ahorrar' / Grow & Save
Child Growth Monitoring Chart + Rewards Loyatly Card = A pharmacy rewards program allowing mothers to buy cheaper food and medical supplies for their babies while monitoring their growth (UPDATED!).
Every mother in Caldas is given a personalized card including a Child growth chart to allow monitoring the physical growth curves of their kid. In order to do so, the mom takes her baby/toddler to a pharmacy in Caldas to be measured and weighted.
The evolution of these metrics is documented in the growth chart, which allows the pharmacists as well as the mom to keep an eye on the health and weel-being of the child.
Each growth chart is also linked with a loyalty card, enabling mothers to buy cheaper medical supplies and food for their babies. The rewards are built into the task of taking the child to be measured in the pharmacy itself, but also on previous purchases.
This system brings incentives for both mothers and pharmacies:
- Mothers willing to save money will not miss a deadline and will keep coming back to the pharmacy,
- Pharmacies will benefit from customer loyalty and more predictable purchase periods (which can help better managing their stocks).
- The more moms keep track of their child's health and buy appropriate food and medical supplies to help them grow, the more they save money over time. And being in regular touch with pharmacists can also help detect and prevent potential diseases from early stages.
- Mothers also benefit from the knowledge pharmacists share with them in order to keep their children healthy. They are given easy instructions and advice (nutrition -esp. breastfeeding, physical activity, vaccinations, appropriate health care, etc.), that they can spread within their community.
- On a bigger scale, documenting the growth of Calda's children will become a valuable information to centralize and consolidate, and potentially use that to tailor new specific programs to particular areas where there is an identified healthcare need (Thank you Shan for pointing out this!). This information could not only include the growth metrics, but also tips and nutrition advice (ie. how their diet influenced the growth of their children) (Thanks Johan for this one).
Alternative models: government program / CSR initiative
1. Another alternative would be to convince the government to craft a program giving financial incentives to low-incomes families for performing regular medical check ups for their babies and themselves (thanks Krassimira for this idea). Such program has already proven to be successful in countries like Brazil or Mexico. This would especially be helpful for communities that cannot afford medicines (cf. Sergio's comment). And certain necessary medical supplies could be given away for free given the economic incentive that regular tracking of supplies represents (thanks Laci for this discussion).
2. Another element to making money for the idea is to solicit the partnership of companies that produce infant/child nutrition and medical products. Particularly for large companies that are keen to maintain a "safe for children" brand image globally, their CSR arm may be willing to provide products at lower cost to the pharmacies. If the project can be scaled up nationally and/or if it draws alot of media attention, this can be a very effective may to keep these companies in check and competing to provide the best quality products (thanks SiuSue Mark for this idea).
Other possible add-ons:
Looking at the 'Market Vendors-Clinicians Cooperative' concept, we can think of using market days as an opportunity to promote this reward program. Or maybe have clinicians and/or pharmacists helping parents picking the right food for their kids as well? (Thanks Vincent for the pointer!).
Image credits and more info: http://www.who.int/childgrowth/en/
How do you envision this idea making money?
This idea is grafted onto existing businesses (ie. pharmacies in Caldas). An additional source of revenue for pharmacy owners would be if the government (or international organizations) is willing to pay for consolidated and documented infant health information collected at each visit. We could also think of a CSR partnership with companies that produce infant/child nutrition and medical products: their CSR arm may be willing to provide products at lower cost to the pharmacies.
How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?
- Monitoring children's growth: Monitoring a child's growth is an important step to keep an eye on his health and well-being. Being in regular touch with pharmacists can also help detect and prevent potential diseases from early stages. - Involving mothers in the learning process: The information mothers learn throughout this process (nutrition -esp. breastfeeding, physical activity, vaccinations, appropriate health care, etc.) is very valuable, and can be easily spread throughout their communities.
What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?
Convince one pharmacy. Then the other. And the next one. And all of them.
Idea submitted by: Sarah Fathallah
July 06, 2011,
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