December 2021
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view in your browser.

Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, PQMD Executive Director

As the year comes to an end, I am so thankful for our PQMD family and the amazing work you do throughout the world making a significant impact in global health. I hope, as the new year brings new opportunities, we will be able to once again meet together to network, socialize and of course work together to address some of the world’s most pressing global health challenges.

In this final newsletter of 2021, you will find a timeline for our exciting new GARD initiative which will allow you to follow along throughout the year on the progress of our rare diseases project. We have also included the Save the Dates for our reimagined Global Health Policy Forum regional roundtable series being held in April. Due to travel restrictions and COVID-19, these roundtables will be held virtually. I hope you consider attending one or all of these important discussions.

I also wanted to highlight an interview on ESG that I had the privilege of doing with the publisher Medicine Maker. The article has been released and we have included the link in the newsletter below.

Thank you also to our members for their responses to the catastrophic tornadoes that hit Kentucky and the Midwest this month. As always, our members are responding quickly and collaborating with each other and agencies on the ground to address humanitarian needs due to disasters in the United States and throughout the world.

As I close, I want to thank the incredible staff of PQMD and the wonderful members I have the privilege of working with every day. This year has presented us all with unprecedented challenges and knowing that we are making a difference through the work we do gives me so much gratitude. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people every day.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season and I look forward to reconnecting in 2022!

PQMD had a very successful and productive year in 2021! Despite still working virtually, we were able to hold meetings and events allowing members opportunities to engage and learn from each other. Even with pandemic related travel restrictions and logistics challenges, PQMD members collaborated to provide life-saving medicines and equipment, community health programs and training, skilled medical volunteers, and donations to prevent, control, and eliminate diseases, including COVID-19. Our members continue to deliver essential and high-quality medical products, activities and services to those most in need around the world. 

Read our full end-of-year note here. 

Global Alliance for Rare Diseases (GARD) Update

On November 3rd, we launched a new PQMD initiative: Global Alliance for Rare Diseases (GARD). This project will develop quality guidelines for rare disease therapeutics and medical support. In addition, we will bring together a broad range of stakeholders to explore and develop a framework to address the many challenges of working in this space and together create shared solutions for patients around the globe.

The Global Alliance for Rare Diseases (GARD) includes two important workstreams: Guidelines and Framework. The workstreams have committees that are comprised of members from the pharma industry, non-profit sector, and patient advocacy. The Guidelines workstream will focus on the development of a guidelines document on rare diseases while the Framework workstream will focus on a complimentary operational infrastructure to facilitate access to rare medicines.

The Framework Committee have met and reviewed similar organizations’ frameworks, drafted a table of contents and will develop a list of stakeholders to be interviewed. The Guidelines Committee completed a literature review, drafted a table of contents, and developed a preliminary approach for stakeholder analysis.

To keep track of the project, please see the timeline below which includes a bar on the left to see where we are in the process. For more information about GARD, please contact Harpreet Ram

Save the Dates!
PQMD 2022 Global Health Policy Virtual Roundtable Series 

April 12, 19, 26 
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (ET)

Due to continued travel restrictions and COVID-19, PQMD is planning on meeting virtually for our 2022 Global Health Policy Forum. Rather than one meeting, we are organizing three roundtable discussions focused on different global regions. Mark your calendars now to join us April 12, 19, and 26 at 1:00 pm ET to listen and discuss relevant global health topics in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. 

Additionally, we are looking for members to nominate their staff members to serve as roundtable panelists. Specifically, we are looking for in-country NGO, Corporate, and Multi-lateral staff at the Regional Director level to bring forward important issues, ideas, and challenges that the regions (Africa, Middle East, Latin America) are grappling with. 

If you are interested in nominating someone, please send them to Patricia Bacuros and Victoria Hammond by Wednesday, January 13th. PQMD will review the nominations and determine who will be invited to serve on each panel.

PQMD Featured in Medicine Maker Article!

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) plans should be an integral part of any company that aims to thrive in today’s society; after all, the public (as well as other stakeholders) are increasingly holding businesses accountable for their actions in ways that weren’t considered even a decade ago. People want the companies they support to care not only about their own interests but also those of their employees, the environment, and the communities they interact with.

Medicine Maker spoke with Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, Executive Director of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD), to find out what good ESG looks like, and why medicine makers must spend time creating initiatives that work for all stakeholders.

Read the full article on PQMD's website here.

Save the Dates!
Measuring for Success
Learning Series

PQMD will be celebrating Measuring for Success month in February! We are offering four events to connect you to tools, insights, and a community focused on understanding and sharing the impact of medical product donations. While these events build upon each other, each one can also stand alone. More details to come in January and registration will be per event.  Please contact Mitch Eiting, K&I Committee Chair, with any questions.

Introduction & Overview: PQMD’s Measuring for Success Toolkit
Thursday, February 3rd @ 11-11:45am ET

M&E Learning Exchange (*members only Coffee Chat)
Tuesday, February 8th @ 11-11:45am ET

PQMD Aligned Metrics for Product Donations 
Tuesday, February 15th @ 11-11:45am ET

Toolkit Workshop 
Monday, February 28th @ 9-10:30am ET

PQMD Pillar Talk – Chronic Challenges &
Successes in Chronic Diseases Recording Now Available!  

On November 30th, PQMD held a Pillar Talk on Chronic Challenges & Successes in Chronic Diseases. Chronic diseases are an unavoidable part of the human experience – regardless of age, geography or wealth. Responsible for over 70% of deaths worldwide, chronic diseases are increasingly becoming both a focus and a pressure for health systems around the globe. And, Covid-19 is exacerbating and exploiting not only the vulnerabilities of the individuals with chronic disease conditions but also the capacity of the health systems that care for them.

During PQMD’s Pillar Talk, panelists discussed these challenges as well as advances in equitable chronic disease management, including what approaches are not only saving lives but also gathering data, driving research, advancing advocacy, optimizing public-private partnerships, and marching towards sustainability.

View the Pillar Talk on YouTube here.

New CoP Video!   

PQMD has released a video for anyone new to the Community of Practice! The CoP video provides tips and instructions on how to use the CoP to access important resources and connect with others interested in issues related to global health and medical donations. The CoP network connects, convenes and catalyzes! 

PQMD Holds Quarterly Humanitarian Assistance Call to Discuss Afghanistan and Ethiopia

On December 10th, PQMD members met via Zoom to discuss humanitarian crises in Afghanistan and Ethiopia. In Afghanistan, there are many issues related to safety and criminality. There is an overwhelming collapse taking place in the country.

In Ethiopia, there has been fighting between Tigrayan forces and the central government. Many NGOs were already not allowed to enter, and many people have been displaced, being pushed south into Amhara and Afar. There are many humanitarian needs, including access to food and nutrition support, access to education, protection issues, sexual and gender-based violence, mental health, child labor, and human rights violations. Just recently, areas in Ahmara and Afar are newly accessible to humanitarian organizations.

In Afghanistan, there has been some successes in delivering WASH programs, mental health support, and life-saving medicine. In Ethiopia, ChildFund has provided cash, dignity kits and child protection. There are also plans for food assistance, WASH items, rehabilitation, learning supplies, animal support, child protection spaces, and anticipatory drought response.

It was discussed that PQMD can assist in the humanitarian response by navigating in-kind donations and helping to determine access issues, especially in Afghanistan.

PQMD meets quarterly to discuss pressing humanitarian needs. For more information, please contact Samantha MacDonald.

PQMD Members Respond to Tornado Disaster in the United States

On December 10 and 11, 2021, a series of almost 40 tornadoes spawned by powerful storms swept through six states in the central and southern US, causing significant damage and more than 90 deaths. Kentucky was especially devastated by the storms, with at least 80 deaths. Damage to infrastructure was widespread, with hundreds of thousands in the region without power and hundreds without shelter.

PQMD members responded to this disaster. Members answered a PQMD survey and discussed their responses on a December 15th Zoom call. Our members have been providing relief supplies, disaster health kits, masks, food banks and cash donations. You can view the survey responses and a recording of the call on the CoP (members only).  

Medical Teams International Receives Over $11 Million USD from the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration for Programs in Four Countries  

For more than 40 years, Medical Teams International has provided life-saving medical care to people in crisis around the world. It is currently expanding its work in four countries, thanks to grants totaling more than $11 million from the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.


An award of $3.5 million will support Medical Teams’ ongoing work to provide medical care to refugees and host populations in Tanzania. Medical Teams currently serves a population of approximately 220,000 refugees and host nationals. It will provide reproductive and child health services, improve access to medicines and medical equipment, and enable Community Health Workers to share health education messages. The award will also help reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 among refugee and host communities through prevention education.


In Uganda, a $3.5 million award will support primary healthcare activities, operations support, and program management under all Medical Teams program areas, including COVID-19 mitigation and treatment activities. These life-saving programs include comprehensive maternal care, mental health, nutrition services and rehabilitation services. Medical Teams reaches a population of more than 1,000,000 refugees and host Ugandans. 


A $2 million award in Colombia will support the first year of a planned multi-year project to continue and expand life-saving medical care in Colombia, particularly for vulnerable Venezuelan migrants. The Medical Teams project, “Protection and Prevention Against COVID-19 for Vulnerable Venezuelan Migrants and Colombians,” will support COVID-19 prevention practices, improve access to essential medical care, and provide mental health and psychosocial support, as well as other preventative health treatments for women and children.


In Bangladesh, a $2.35 million award will support two years of programming in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, the world’s largest refugee camp. This joint program with Food for the Hungry will improve community knowledge, behaviors, and prevention practices related to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. It will also improve access to and quality of COVID-19 case management and treatment for targeted refugee and host communities, and it will provide mental health and psychosocial support for vulnerable individuals affected by the pandemic.

To make a product donation or to discuss other partnership opportunities, call Medical Teams at (503)624-1000 or email

You can also read the article on PQMD's website here.

IMA World Health: Perservance in Fragile Settings

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and its North Kivu province in particular, never seem to catch a break. In the past two years alone, the region has faced two outbreaks of Ebola, the COVID-19 pandemic and the catastrophic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo – all amidst ongoing violent conflict and political instability.

These challenges and their frequency are too often typical of fragile settings. Fragility stems from the devastating consequences of violent conflicts, political instability, public health crises, climate change, and/or economic collapse, among other causes. Such fragile contexts can leave communities caught in a trap of extreme vulnerability and crippling poverty. These are the places where needs are the greatest while operational complexities abound. These are the places where, despite the enormous challenges, IMA World Health perseveres to implement transformative work.

Partnering to prevent and treat disease

In fall 2020, just after the largest Ebola outbreak in DRC history was declared over, we began working with national partners and local health officials to implement a post-Ebola transition and recovery program in North Kivu to restore functional public and private primary health care, laying the groundwork to enhance resilience to future shocks and stresses.

“Our strategy has been mainly teamwork. We used not only each other’s ideas, but also, and most importantly, everyone’s mental strength to support each other to get the job done during tough times.” - Mumbere Lunbo Esaü, project driver

When COVID-19 hit the DRC in 2020, our staff in North Kivu worked with donors, health providers and other workers to locate and distribute personal protective equipment, specialized medical gear and other critical supplies to health facilities. When Ebola struck again in 2021, we supported surveillance efforts for Ebola and other infectious diseases and accompanied local health providers to ensure the continuation of health care to women and children. Through the turmoil, IMA World Health stood by health providers, persevering together through these overwhelming realities.

Community resilience

As if these challenges were not formidable enough, devastation struck the country again on May 22, 2021, when Mount Nyiragongo near the city of Goma erupted, disrupting water supplies and electricity, destroying homes and health infrastructure, creating smoke, ash, and acid rain, and causing thousands to flee the area. Health providers lost their homes, facilities, supplies, and educational and training materials. Government officials called for the city to be evacuated, but for doctors, nurses and other health providers to remain. Unwavering, IMA World Health staff worked alongside local health providers to adapt to this latest shock and addressed immediate health needs of the growing displaced population.

Health workers relied on their deep knowledge of communities and on relationships that had been established through many years of collaboration with IMA World Health on Ebola education and mitigation efforts funded by USAID and other partners.

“We managed to work thanks to good communication with the population. We used home visits, educational talks, mass awareness and good hygiene practices.” - Mbusa Musayi, community health worker

Meeting the expressed needs of the community in a way that engendered local ownership and recognition of health zone authorities helped to create pathways for both learning and resilience.

Now, IMA World Health is working with government officials, national and local organizations, and other partners in 10 Ebola-affected health zones in North Kivu Province to ensure access to and provision of high-quality maternal, newborn, and child health services, voluntary family planning, and reproductive health care. We also help to strengthen routine immunizations, expand access to nutrition and hygiene services, and increase access to care for infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, Ebola, and COVID-19.

Read the full article on PQMD's website here.

Upcoming Events

State of American Business 2022
January 11, 2022; 11:00am ET

Introduction & Overview: PQMD's Measuring for Success Toolkit (members only Coffee Chat)
February 2, 2022; 11:00-11:45 am ET

M&E Learning Exchange 
February 8, 2022; 11:00-11:45am ET 

PQMD Aligned Metrics for Product Donations
February 15, 2022; 11:00-11:30am ET

MFS Toolkit Workshop 
February 28; 9:00-10:30am ET

CUGH 2022 
March 28- April 1, 2022

PQMD GHPF Regional Roundtables
April 12, 19, 26, 2022; 11am-12:30pmET

Unite for Sight: Global Health & Innovation Conference
April 21-22, 2022

Does your organization have news to share?
 Beth Haynes for placement in future newsletters.
Next Month's Theme: Year in Review & Looking Ahead

This message was sent to you by the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations.

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe at any time.