October 2021
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Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, PQMD Executive Director

I hope everyone has been enjoying some Fall weather and staying safe! October was an exciting month for PQMD. We held our annual Education Forum, virtually this year due to COVID, and appreciate everyone who contributed to the excellent presentations and discussions. The overall theme of the event was sustainability and how members can think collectively beyond donations. On the second day, we dove deeper into PQMD’s assets, benchmarking and the development of new tools. We have included a summary and links to our Community of Practice below where PQMD members can find videos and PowerPoint presentations from the meeting.

Coming soon, we have some exciting initiatives, including the launch of our Global Alliance for Rare Diseases (GARD) and the release of the Spanish version of our new Medical Missions Module. Please be on the lookout for more information in the coming months.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that we just wrapped up the Fall session of the Global Health and Development Essentials Course. I want to congratulate everyone who completed the course and thank you for your contributions and discussions. We are currently working on scheduling our next session and will announce the dates in the near future. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone working in global health and medical donations but would like a full survey of the field.

I’m looking forward to the month ahead and seeing what PQMD and our members will do working together! Stay safe.

PQMD Holds Education Forum to Discuss Sustainability, Hold Workshops

In October, PQMD held its annual Education Forum (virtually again this year) due to COVID-19. 

On Day 1 of the Education Forum, we discussed different pathways to greater impact through the work our members are doing, and how members can help each other on their journey beyond donations to sustainability.

The day included exceptional video presenters and facilitators who showcased their programs and led discussions. In case you were unable to join us or wanted to revisit a presentation, you can view all the presentations on the CoP (members only). 

On Day 2, we focused on exploring and deepening the application of PQMD’s collective assets. Topics included Earned Income for PQMD, Corporate and NGO benchmarking, deeper dives into the evolving ecosystems of our pillars, and exploring how to showcase PQMD resources - to further cement PQMD’s position as a leader in product medical donations. The day was full of incredibly insightful conversations and we appreciated all the questions, feedback, and member engagement. 

If you would like to continue your discussions from the Education Forum, please visit PQMD's Community of Practice.

PQMD to Launch Initiative on Rare Diseases

Access to medicines is particularly challenging for patients living with rare genetic disorders, including in high-income/developed countries, and even after these life-saving treatments have been approved by regulatory authorities and are commercially available.

The challenge is compounded for individuals with rare disorders living in low- and middle-income or resource-limited countries, because:

  • treatment options are not available due to lack of local regulatory approval
  • accessibility including distance to treatment centers and overburdened families
  • affordability of lifelong treatments
  • logistics/supply chain challenges
  • long term care resources and healthcare infrastructure (scarcity of diagnostic resources, under-resourced healthcare infrastructure a lack of rare disease education amongst clinicians)

To address this important global health issue, PQMD will soon be launching Global Alliances for Rare Diseases (GARD). During the month of November, PQMD will be holding a call with members and other stakeholders to announce next steps. More information will be available soon! 

Now Available: Donations Impact Pyramid and Five New Cases Studies to Support M&E 

PQMD members are collectively distributing donated medical products that create real changes for health systems and populations around the world. Our Knowledge & Innovation committee has been quietly doing some very exciting work – we’ve developed a simple framework that anyone can utilize to have meaningful conversations about the metrics that connect your donations programs to your overall impact. We are pleased to introduce the interactive PQMD Donations Impact Pyramid as one of the latest tools for you to explore.

We invite you to also you to click through our five brand new case studies, where MAP International, Americares, The Max Foundation, MedShare and PQMD all share practical reflections and downloadable tools on relevant topics from designing an M&E framework to capturing patients reached through your programs to interpreting evaluation results for cross-program improvement and collaborative design of M&E tools. Everything can be accessed through PQMD’s Measuring for Success Toolkit, an open-access, free and interactive source to discover unique & specific guidance on good M&E practices for product donation programs.

For more information, please contact Juliemarie Vander Burg

PQMD Coffee Chat:  Donated Product Trademark Concerns

On October 11th, PQMD held a Coffee Chat on the management of consumer product trademark issues within a global health product donation context. Johnson & Johnson's Kim Keller, Senior Manager, Global Community Impact, raised questions and facilitated an informal discussion among peers. Some of the questions discussed included: 

  • How do you donate a product when another company owns the name in another country?  
  • Should you only donate product into a country when you own the name so you don’t conflict with a local trademark? 
  • Should all of this matter if the product is being donated versus sold?  

To learn more about future Coffee Chats (members only), visit the Community of Practice.  

Build your Networking Profile on the CoP! 

Introduce yourself to new members and remind current members of your passions and expertise by building your networking profile on PQMD's Community of Practice (CoP). First, go to your profile by clicking on the fourth icon in upper righthand corner. Next, click "edit profile" and begin adding pertinent information such as an image, your bio, company info and a link to your company’s website or your social media profile. When you click on a member’s image, not only will you be able to see their profile but also a chronological list of all their posts. This is a great way to let members know more about you and what you are passionate about posting!

International Medical Corps Provides Psychological First Aid (PFA) Training for First Responders 

An earthquake in Haiti, an explosion in Beirut, a global pandemic—all too often, emergencies like these dominate the headlines. Images of razed buildings or crying loved ones, accompanied by what can seem like an ever-increasing death toll, highlight the obvious physical devastation these emergencies can cause. But the “invisible wounds”—the effect an emergency have on a survivor’s mental health—can be just as powerful.

Often neglected, mental health conditions pose a major public health challenge. They affect about one in 10 people during their lifetime globally, and are the leading cause of disability around the world.

This is why International Medical Corps, with the support of its longtime collaborator FedEx, has developed an interactive online training program called “Principles of Psychological First Aid.” This unique, scenario-based course takes first responders—or anyone who wants to know more about how to help someone dealing with difficult emotional issues—through a humanitarian emergency and engages them in decisionmaking on how best to support those affected.

As it walks the learner through the four main principles of PFA—Prepare, Look, Listen and Link—the course also spells out the importance of self-care for first responders and others who are helping people in stressful situations.

This free two-hour course from International Medical Corps will help to increase the number of trained first responders equipped with the skills needed to meet the mental health needs of individuals, families and communities affected by conflict, disaster or disease.

Read the full article on PQMD's website here.

BD Unveils Nebraska-Based Manufacturing Capacity to Support U.S. Vaccination Agility and Preparedness

On October 7th, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) announced it has strengthened the U.S. government's access to safety injection devices through increased manufacturing capacity and domestic supply. The new syringe and needle manufacturing lines, which were completed on an accelerated timeline, represent the public-private partnership between BD and Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). 

The new lines increase capacity of BD's existing needle and syringe supply capabilities domestically. To date, the company has provided several hundred million injection devices to the federal campaign. This marks a timely manufacturing milestone as the United States heads into flu vaccination season and the critical need for these essential devices continues.

In addition to ramping up the manufacturing of needles and syringes domestically to meet U.S. needs for the COVID-19 pandemic, BD is working to help ensure the global community is prepared for future pandemic vaccination. BD previously announced plans to invest $1.2 billion over four years to enhance its manufacturing capacity and technology for pre-fillable syringes and advanced drug delivery systems – allowing for continued growth of new injectable drugs and vaccines.

To read the full press release, visit BD's website. 

Janssen Announces Novel Mechanism of Action that Shows Promise Against Dengue in Data Published in Nature 

On October 6th, The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) announced, in collaboration with the KU Leuven Rega Institute and the KU Leuven Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3), the publication of new preclinical data in the journal Nature showing that an early-stage compound with a novel mechanism of action could potentially treat all serotypes of dengue fever and provide a period of protection against acquiring the dengue virus. Janssen is now moving its dengue program into clinical development.

Named one of the top ten threats in 2019 by the World Health Organization, dengue is critically important to global health security as it infects up to 400 million people, sickens up to 100 million and kills thousands each year. The virus is poised to impact billions more people in the coming decades as the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the dengue virus spreads further from its native regions, driven by converging trends like climate change, urbanization and a growing population.

Johnson & Johnson is one of the few innovative healthcare companies in the world that is actively advancing science across multiple disease areas with the aim of strengthening global public health. This includes R&D efforts aimed at addressing pandemic threats including coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2), filoviruses (including Ebola) and flaviviruses (including dengue).

To read the entire press release, visit Johnson & Johnson's website.

IHP Provides Medications to Support Mental Health in the Middle East

Mental health treatment and care is needed urgently by people living in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. Their populations live with mounting challenges. Trauma and environmental factors have caused people’s mental health to plummet. For many, the large-scale effects of bombings and the destruction of homes and facilities are being compounded by daily difficulties. When you don’t have money for the basics, can’t see a doctor, and can’t travel around, life can get very stressful. 

In response, IHP is working to provide medications to support mental health in countries such as Palestine and Lebanon. IHP also works with partners such as International Medical Corps, which helps train family doctors in how to provide the best care.

Read more about IHP's support for mental health here.

Does your organization have news to share?
 Beth Haynes for placement in future newsletters.
Next Month's Theme: Diseases

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