SAMAS - Health for Moms and Babies

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SAMAS - Health for Moms and Babies: Stand by Moms in Romania

Bucharest, RomaniaBucharest, Romania
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Infant & child mortality in Romania is 7 times higher than in the rest of EU.
This alarming situation can be changed with proper support to women. Danone Nutricia, Red Cross and Crucea Alba are creating a sustainable network of perinatal educators to stand moms from conception to toddler age.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if women education could result in ending infant & child death in Romania and contributes to an healthier later life ?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Romanian health care in early life is weakened by an increasing number of Health Care Professional migrating to West, and a diminishing role of midwifes staying in the country. Women from conception to the toddler age of their baby are left with limited support & education. Indicators show high prematurity rate, growing c-section occurence, low breastfeeding rate, various nutritional deficiencies. According to WHO Romania is a High Risk Country.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

NUTRICIA expertise in nutrition and commitment to the local community can be leveraged to contribute to a better start in life hence an healthier later life. NUTRICIA teamed up with a local NGO Crucea Alba and with the Red Cross to co-create then animate a nationwide, self sustainable network of Perinatal Educators, specifically trained to enable moms to make educated choices for nutrition and care in the first 1000 days of life. SAMAS was initiated by developing nutritional and care comeptencies, selecting motivated nurses, providing them intense training and coaching and uniting them in a nationwide association supported by advanced IT tools. SAMAS is geared to stand by thousand of new moms every year in Romania to nurture healthy lives
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

SAMAS brings new competencies to Romania leading to a) economic value, the nurse in the current health care system has little opportunity to ensure a decent living with a state-paid-salary and has no true development opportunities. SAMAS empowers selected nurses to charge a needed service to moms hence top up their income The consultation price is defined by the SAMAS association and remains affordable for moms.b) social value, the mom access expertise and service not available before. She can adapt her life style, her nutrition maximizing the chances of healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby development. Most SAMAS Educator shall maintain actvities in the public sector ensuring that newly acquired knowledge can also reach the poorest moms

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The pilot demonstrated the relevance of new competencies, endorsed by medical institutions, pediatric / family doctor / nurses associations. The 83 nurses selected amomg hundreds to join SAMAS have strong confidence in their ability to serve moms. SAMAS enables them to obtain official accreditation points needed for their practice. They also got the first payments from moms. Over 3500 moms have already benefited from the service of a graduated SAMAS Educator. 93% of them are keen in recommending it. In the roll out SAMAS gets its own legal entitiy and is deployed in all major cities of Romania. SAMAS Educator gets a tablet to manage consultation in remote areas and stay connected to SAMAS network. In 3 years over 500 Educators will stand by moms in Romania, potentially covering 40% of the total births in the country. Meanwhile some of the alarmig indicators shall have turn green.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In Romania, SAMAS program should be at reach for all the moms-to-be and moms. The network shall continue spreading and getting more dense with the support of a governance structure formed by the founding members. Meanwhile some discussions are already initiated to obtained the reimbursement of the service whether by the National Health Budget or through various insurance companies. The SAMAS program, powered by DANONE ECOSYSTEM is very likely to be roll out in other geographies where Danone through its Early Life Nutrition Division is committed to stand by moms to nurture new lives.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Danone Ecosystem, Nutricia Romania and Red Cross financed the set up including building SAMAS awareness and training 500 Educators in 4 years. During roll out SAMAS service paid by moms shall finance the running costs. SAMAS Association will have a Governance structure combining NUTRICIA, RED CROSS, CRUCEA ALBA expertises and Perinatal Educators and Moms representatives. SAMAS will remain a proximity service connected with its stakeholders.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Few iniatives were visible e.g UNICEF with breastfeeding, CRUCEA ALBA with perinatal care which are now embeded in SAMAS. Such a strong and comprehensive education support to moms in Romania i.e. from conception to toddler age seems unique. Our believe that the first 1000 days are - a unique window of opportunity for „programing” healthy life -fuelled our ambition for SAMAS program. The strength of SAMAS lies in the proximity of the Educators with moms at the very moment when support is needed. The competencies teached to the Educators is a strong base for a trusted relationship with the mom

Founding Story

The truth is that - the alarming elements in early life in Romania can be avoided by empowering the moms through education, rather than let them be the patient of the health care system system. - the first 1000 days in life matters forever Leveraging the respective expertise of NUTRICIA, RED CROSS and CRUCEA ALBA resulted in a social and economic response that durably contributes to improve the health care situation in Romania


The team resembles eclectic profiles from corporate world, non profit world and medical care. Each partners allocated top human resource to the project. All members have same weight in the decision. The team in permanent contact holds formal meetings. As the project grows, an independant legal entity is created with enlarged governance structure including Perinatal Educator and Moms representative. NUTRICIA shall appoint a Mission Manager.