July 2022
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Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, PQMD Executive Director

Happy July! Here at PQMD, July was full of exciting celebrations recognizing PQMD’s Guidelines Month. To start, I was honored to be part of Devex World where I recorded a starter question for the "Innovation at Scale” session, which explored leveraging the accelerators to adopt new technologies and solutions that became necessary as the COVID-19 pandemic hindered traditional progress. If you missed this insightful session, we invite you to access the video recording.

I was also recently interviewed by Devex to discuss PQMD’s Guidelines for Quality Medical Donations, with a contextual focus on the Ukraine crisis, Covid-19, collaboration and unprecedented changes including the increase of people and organizations providing donations for global health. I highlighted the critical need for donors and recipients to have a mutual understanding of best practices included in our Guidelines. It was exhilarating to highlight the proven ways our Guidelines contribute to sustainable health systems and resiliency in humanitarian response when employed through trusted collaborative relationships. You can read the article here.

Our Guidelines Week (July 18-22) celebration was anchored by one of our most popular webinars to date, "Medical Donations: How to be helpful and not harmful". During this timely, well-received Pillar Talk, PQMD members shared best practices and pro tips to help navigate the complexities inherent in the timely delivery of critical and lifesaving quality health and medical products to the people who need them. If you want to share in the experience, please access the recording.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who helped amplify our messaging on the Guidelines through your networks - each share of our events and information on your personal or organizational social media builds awareness and furthers high-quality medical donations worldwide. At PQMD, we believe that our Guidelines should be the gold standard for anyone involved in donating healthcare products. As you continue to do the work of your organizational missions, we champion the power of our joint efforts. If you are not currently following PQMD, please connect with us LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook and on our Community of Practice.

I hope this summer continues to be filled with meaningful and safe connections with colleagues, family and friends even as our challenges continue to evolve.

PQMD Highlighted in Devex Article- Q&A: Guidelines for medical donations are key to sustainable health systems

On July 14th, Devex published an interview with PQMD's Executive Director, Elizabeth Ashbourne, to discuss PQMD's Guidelines for Quality Medical Donations and how they support countries' ongoing sustainability and resilience planning. 

Elizabeth discussed how the Guidelines not only assist in crisis, such as in Ukraine, but can also be leveraged further to champion sustainable health systems. She discussed how the Guidelines ensure that international protocols for the delivery of donated medical products are followed, their role in humanitarian crisis, and how they help advance PQMD's mission to contribute to universal access to health and well-being. 

She also talked about some of the challenges impacting donations, including Covid-19 and country capacity, which many PQMD members are already addressing by making sure that donations are paired with investment, engagement and partnership.

To read the full article, visit Devex's website

PQMD Advisory Council Member, Dr. Kate Tulenko, Appointed to President Biden's President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA)

PQMD Advisory Council member, Dr. Kate Tulenko, was recently appointed to President Biden's President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). 

Other Council members include representatives from IBM, GE, Kellogg, Caterpillar, Cisco Systems, Pfizer, Citibank; and business leaders and governments across Africa to support business and economic development.

The purpose of the PAC-DBIA is to “provide insights to inform implementation of Biden Administration priorities, including the Prosper Africa initiative, the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, other sector-specific initiatives as necessary, U.S. government support for the African Continental Free Trade Area, and bilateral memoranda of understanding led by the U.S. Department of Commerce focused on U.S. commercial cooperation with African countries.”

Learn more about Dr. Kate Tulenko here.

Global Alliance for Rare Diseases (GARDaccess) Update

Framework Workstream: The Framework workstream is finalizing the Framework operational model document. The document outlines the proposed structure of the secretariat to execute the GARDaccess strategies with the vision of improving access to medicines for patients living with rare diseases. The draft document will be distributed to the project funders and other stakeholders for review and feedback. The input will inform the revisions as well as the development of strategies for project funding and moving forward with the next phase of the initiative.

Guidelines Workstream: A July virtual meeting was held with a group of individuals from the Max Foundation, Pfizer, Takeda and PQMD, all with prior experience in Rare Diseases, to solicit additional input for the enhancement of the Monitoring & Evaluation Guideline. The session was led by PQMD’s Senior Director, Global Health as the group successfully developed more detailed guidance relating to four key areas: Input, Processes, Output, and Outcome/Impact. These revisions will be shared with the workstream membership for additional technical comments.

The team continues to build out the educational module for the online application of the Guidelines. Additional networking is moving forward to obtain input from a wider set of stakeholders.

if you have any questions about GARDaccess, please contact Elizabeth Ashbourne.

Global Health & Development Essentials Course

Fall Session Starts September 14th!  

Fall: September 14 – October 26, 2022

The Fall session includes seven weekly classes scheduled from 12:00-2:00pm (EST)

PQMD has condensed key elements of a Master’s in Public Health curriculum to create a comprehensive Executive Survey Course on global health, for professionals or students working in the space but lacking relevant formal education.

The course compresses much of the MPH curriculum with an emphasis on global concerns; participants gain an improved understanding of health disparities around the world and how they’re measured, health systems in low and lower-middle income countries, the global frameworks and key players providing sustained humanitarian assistance for global health development, and the dynamics and coordination of international disaster response.

Register Now!

PQMD Executive Director, Elizabeth Ashbourne, Participates in Devex World 2022- Recording Now Available

PQMD's Executive Director, Elizabeth Ashbourne, participated in a session on Innovation during Devex World 2022 on July 12th. The session, titled "Innovation at Scale", provided a discussion of what it means to bring innovation to development. The speakers provided information on how to scale what works and what we can learn from its rapid adoption during Covid-19. They also examined how to find, fund and operationalize innovation to accelerate progress on the SDGs.

Elizabeth asked a firestarter question in a session which included Richard Hatchett, CEO, CEPI, Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, Jumana Qamruddin, Senior Health Specialist, The World Bank Group, and Moderator: Rumbi Chakamba, Senior Reporter, Devex.

To view the recording. click here. 

Measuring for Success

PQMD's Tools Support M&E for Quality Medical Donations

During PQMD’s Guidelines Month our events showcased the availability, clarity, reliability, and robust nature of the PQMD’s jointly developed guidelines which are updated consistently to ensure they are practical. Through our programs and products, PQMD members underscored that donating in accordance with PQMD Guidelines ensures high quality and timely donations. How do they know? Our members also invest time and strategy into understanding the impact of their donations work. As an additional and complementary resource, PQMD has a suite of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools designed for teams to boost alignment and capacity in M&E specific to healthcare donations. You can access our free, online, interactive Measuring for Success Toolkit around the clock. This resource is maintained by PQMD’s Knowledge & Innovation Committee.

PQMD Pillar Talk: Medical Donations: How to be helpful and not harmful- Recording now available 

We see others suffering and we want to help. When conflicts, crises, and disasters arise around the world the response is often a generous outpouring of active support to address the suffering that always comes with these devastating and uprooting events. The collective turmoil brought on by COVID-19 coupled with the searing images of civilians devastated by the war in Ukraine has amplified this admirable and innate reaction to assist wherever possible. Now more than ever before – there are plentiful avenues to provide cash assistance, donate product or contribute a multitude of skills to relief efforts. Technology and connectivity are truly shortening the distance between imminent needs and essential resources. Yet the desire to help can cause additional undue burden and stress that can quickly overwhelm recipients and logisticians if not managed properly. Ultimately, not all help is helpful and this is especially true when it comes to medical product donations.

PQMD members have developed effective and strategic approaches which mitigate harm and foster trusted collaboration in any response. Our members are the experts - international companies and nonprofit organizations who self-certify their practices and pledge to adhere to PQMD’s internationally accepted guidelines for medical product donations.

On July 21st, PQMD members shared best practices and pro tips to help navigate the complexities inherent in the timely delivery of critical and lifesaving high quality products to the people who need them.

If you missed this informative Pillar Talk, you can now view the recording. 

PQMD Coffee Chat: The truth about how we got to success… a conversation among sector peers 

There are so many lessons that have been collectively learned by PQMD members that help them set the gold standard in medical donations.

in July, PQMD members participated in a Coffee Chat to help dive deeper into what worked, what didn't, and how to evolve and adapt. Members were separated into sectors (NGO and Corporate) where they discussed lessons learned which they shared with the broader group at the end of the meeting. 

Some of the lessons learned include: the importance of communication, incorporating risk mitigation when addressing every step of the process, tapping into networks, being nimble and flexible, and seizing unintended opportunities for innovation. 

If you are a member and would like more information and resources on donation Guidelines, you can access the CoP to find curated resources. 

Do you have questions about medical donations? Ask an expert!

In honor of Guidelines Month, the Guidelines Committee hosted a special section on PQMD's Community of Practice (CoP) titled, "Ask the Experts".  Here you can ask the technical experts about any concerns or challenges you are having within the medical donation space. 

The CoP will continue to host this special section in August, so please feel free to ask our experts with years of experience in medical donations and global health any questions you may have. 

Group of volunteers from St. John Ambulance packing Humanitarian Medical Kits bound for Ukraine, dated April 2, 2022 at HPIC Oakville Distribution Centre. (Source: HPIC)

Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) delivers $2.4 million in essential medicines to Ukraine

Health Partners International of Canada is nearing its final goal of delivering $2.4 million in medicines to Ukrainians whose lives have been impacted by the Russian invasion.

But HPIC’s response to those affected has been very different as compared to other emergencies. “Even though it might seem easier to send medicines to a country that borders the European Union, Ukraine’s location has added shipping and logistics challenges we have not seen in other emergencies,” says Mathias Bowler, Operations Manager for HPIC.

In the months following the Russian invasion in February, land border routes quickly became clogged and HPIC had to carefully navigate the strict regulatory requirements of the EU, even though the medicines it was sending were destined for consignees in Ukraine. Many aspects of those regulatory requirements have also changed multiple times in the last five months.

Add to that, the fact that many pharmaceutical and other donors offering up products were new to HPIC and medical donations in general.

“So many donor company employees saw round the clock coverage of the attack and mass exodus of refugees on the news and reached out to HPIC to offer what they could from their company’s inventory”, says Director of Healthcare Industry Relations, Heather Watts.

This was compounded by the fact that Canada is home to the largest Ukrainian community outside of Ukraine. HPIC was contacted by many civil society and ethnic Ukrainian groups requesting help from HPIC, some even indicating that they would accept expired medicines.    

As a longtime member of PQMD and self-certified adherent to PQMD’s Guidelines, HPIC had to convince new donors and, in some cases, desperate recipients, that although it was ready to help, sending inappropriate or nearly expired medicines would cause more harm than good.

“Emotions run high during an emergency, and sometimes it is difficult to convince new donors that even though relief is needed immediately, when there is chaos on the ground, it is even more important to make sure everyone is onboard and agrees with the shipping and distribution plan for the medicines once they arrive in country”, says Watts.

The Canadian pharma donors who work with HPIC on a regular basis do so because HPIC upholds international medical donation guidelines and ensures that the products they donate will reach the intended recipients.  

With an international supply chain that has been slow to recover post-pandemic and the number of forcibly displaced people now topping 100 million worldwide according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, HPIC continues its work both in Ukraine and other countries where displaced persons are living in inhumane conditions.  

“At the end of August, our team at HPIC begins a new phase to secure more medicines and raise the financial support we need to mobilize even more medical aid to help Ukrainians in need,” says HPIC’s President Lois Brown. “Once we have met our first milestone, there is much more to achieve.”

IsraAid Releases Annual Report for 2021 

IsraAid releases its annual report for 2021. The report includes highlights from 2021including safely evacuating 167 vulnerable people from Afghanistan, transforming Child Friendly Spaces in Kenya & Uganda to reach hundreds of families amid COVID-19 restrictions, bringing mental health services to remote communities in Vanuatu, building a soccer pitch in Colombia to bring local migrant and host communities together, and partnering with Eswatini's Ministry of Health on their national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.  

Just this month, IsraAid began partnering with the Office of the First Lady of Ukraine to provide mental health support for vulnerable populations. They are currently focusing efforts in Kyiv and Odesa and are continuing to expand work in Ukraine, in addition to ongoing response efforts in Moldova and Romania. 

To read the full annual report, click here.

Baxter International Inc. releases new Corporate Responsibility Report

Baxter International Inc. recently released its Corporate Responsibility Report. The report highlights Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation’s efforts to create lasting social, economic and environmental value in the communities they serve around the world.

Baxter is focused on tackling the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that affect patients, customers, employees, communities and other stakeholders. Their corporate responsibility work is bolstered by an approach to good governance and an overarching commitment to ethics and compliance, human rights, inclusion and diversity and privacy and data protection. Grounded in three pillars—to Empower our Patients, Protect our Planet and Champion our People and Communities—Baxter's 2030 Corporate Responsibility Commitment features 10 goals for prioritized action.

To read the report, click here.

Upcoming Events

Devex Event: Decolonizing global health through autonomous manufacturing in Africa  
August 3, 2022; 9am EDT

Concordia Annual Summit
September 19-21. 2022; New York & Digital

International Medical Corps' Annual Awards Celebration 
September 29. 2022; 10:00 pm EDT

COR-NTD Meeting
October 4-5, 2022; Virtual

PQMD Educational Forum (Members Only) 
October 17-19, 2022; Seattle, Washington

Development2030- Beyond Aid
November 16-17, 2022; Brussels, Belgium

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

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