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PQMD Newsletter

Welcome! In this volume of the PQMD newsletter, you will find highlights from our membership and noteworthy articles from around the web. Please note the newsletter is best viewed in your browser. 

Does your organization have news to share? Contact Beth Haynes for placement in future newsletters. 

Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, Executive Director, PQMD
 ej headshot

July was a busy and memorable month for PQMD! In the midst of the continuing uncertainty due to COVID-19, PQMD had the opportunity on July 21st to hold our virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) and celebrate our 20th anniversary. This year's meeting was special beyond measure with the participation of over 13 of the original members of PQMD in the audience joining our current member representatives for the event. Our celebration of 20 years included an incredible panel of our peers, who generously shared stories about how and why PQMD came to be, along with insights and advice about where we might go in the future. The "Founders Panel" was moderated by long-time PQMD advisor, Mark Chataway (CEO, Hyderus) and founding members Brenda Colatrella, Assoc VP, Corp Responsibility, Merck & Co., Inc.; Conrad Person, J&J (retired); Rachel Granger, VP, International Partnerships & Program Americares; and Bette Scott, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer, USA for UNHCR. Pat Bacuros, now of Operation Smile, introduced the founders through a special personal account. 

In brief summary, the Founders Panel explored PQMD's "raison-d'etre" and thoughtfully linked past PQMD accomplishments to prescient topics such as equality, economic inclusion, quality, and health equity. Collectively, the panel suggested an inspiring vision for how our current work can be successfully integrated into a new strategy for the next decade. Key recommendations included looking beyond just gifts-in-kind, a focus on access and quality, equity, knowledge and innovation, advocacy and information, data and research and incubation of novel collaborative action. The panel also encouraged PQMD's continued and critical role in disaster response and humanitarian assistance given the unique reach and strength of our coalition. 

The Founders shared stories of how PQMD created the unique collaboration that successfully enabled our group to build strong bonds despite operating in competitive environments. Through the dedication of this unique group of individuals (the founders)- and their investment of time to build trust, a common agenda, and solid relationships- they established the foundational core values that PQMD continues to prioritize in its programs and practices to this day. We are so grateful for their commitment then and their engagement now and hope we will find an opportunity in 2021, when it is safe again, to get together face-to-face. 

In addition to the AGM meeting, PQMD also celebrated Guidelines Week! During the week of July 20th, we shared the original WHO press release from 1999 recognizing PQMD as the first umbrella organization to underwrite the agency's Guidelines for Drug Donations. We also shared videos, including a short video by PQMD's founding Executive Director, Jim Russo, and videos from our members Lydia Amartey and Pat Bacuros. The week was very successful and we appreciate all the members who helped by sharing, liking and posting on social media! We still have our resources up on our website here

I am also especially excited about our new partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Pfizer on our COVID-19 Webinar Series. Keep an eye out for announcements about our exciting topics and top-level speakers who will be taking on, debating and discussing the most challenging issues of our time. 

In closing, July brought some much appreciated time for reflection on how history shapes the present and can inform future action. PQMD is a powerful alliance working every day to improve health outcomes, and through the work of our members, I continue to see the critical role that donations play and how they can be leveraged to inspire greater access to quality healthcare around the world. Thank you again to everyone who made our AGM meeting and Guidelines Week so special this year! If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me at  





PQMD's People of PQMD Video Series  

PQMD has initiated a series titled "People of PQMD" where members share how they are leading in response to Covid-19 and discuss how PQMD adds value to the work they do. In July, PQMD Executive Director, Elizabeth Ashbourne (EJ), had the privilege of interviewing Julie Jenson, Director of International Product Access at Pfizer. Julie talked about her role at Pfizer and how she started working in global donations. You can view the video here

As part of "People of PQMD," EJ also interviewed  Kristie Porcaro, Chief of Strategy and Partnerships at Operation Smile. Kristie discussed her background, how she started working at Operation Smile and tells a heart warming story about her first medical mission. She also shares how Covid-19 has affected her organization's work and staff. You can view the video here.

If you are interested in being part of the People of PQMD series, please contact Sam MacDonald.

PQMD Medical Donations Guidelines Online Module Available Soon

The PQMD Guidelines are going virtual! 

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Disaster Ready, a leader in online education for humanitarian and development professionals, to create an interactive version of the PQMD Donation Guidelines. This online module is designed to provide organizations and corporations a user-friendly version of the guidelines that is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. It will feature downloadable resources, searchable content and the ability to navigate from section to section, giving users the information they need right at their fingertips.

The online Guidelines will be available on the Disaster Ready portal as one of their 1,000 online courses and on the PQMD website. Stay tuned for news about the official launch! 

PQMD Seeks Your Insight and Experiences for Medical Product Donations Monitoring & Evaluation 

PQMD continues to emphasize building best practices and bolstering organizational capacity in monitoring and evaluation specific to donated medicines and medical products through our Measuring for Success- M&E Toolkit. The website and resources are online here.

PQMD's Knowledge and Innovation Committee is looking for willing corporations and nonprofit organizations to highlight (either attributed or anonymous) monitoring, evaluation, and/or feedback experiences in order to bring the toolkit to life through vignettes and working examples. Suggested areas to consider sharing include:
  • Evaluation experience of a product donation line or product donation program
  • Logic models/Theory of change/Results pathway for product donation programs or showing how product donations fit into a larger health program
  • Stakeholder mapping experiences
  • Donation/GIK reporting- distribution & outcomes
  • Planning for evaluation
  • Working with an M&E Consultant (process of forming evaluation questions, project concept, terms of reference, resulting products, learnings)
  • Funding for M&E (finding sources and determining overall strategy for funding m&e)
  • Innovations and solutions in collecting and utilizing data across partners
  • Key indicator development and measurement
  • Needs assessment templates & product request processes
  • COVID-19 specific donation experiences (product specific or organization-wide responses)
Should you have an existing report, resource or article you'd like to submit for consideration- please send any material or links to Juliemarie Vander Burg, Senior Director of Global Health: or 404-512-7597. To view the request, click here.


Community of Practice (CoP) 


Community of Practice Special COVID-19 Pillar Talk Series 

PQMD successfully hosts an interactive webinar and discussion series-- the PQMD Pillar talks on our online Community of Practice (CoP). In response to COVID-19, PQMD began a special COVID-19 Pillar Talk Series. PQMD thanks Pfizer for its generous support of the Pillar Talk COVID-19 webinars.

On July  23rd, PQMD hosted the webinar titled Short Term Medical Missions Guidelines and Experiences from the Field. PQMD continues its leadership in setting standards for best practices in global health by establishing Standards for Medical Mission Partnerships and Practices (Sending and Host Organizations). In partnership with Americares and under its pillar of Healthcare System Strengthening, PQMD embarked on a multi-year project to develop and test these guidelines in the Philippines, Malawi, and Honduras. The Pillar Talk provided an overview of the guidelines and their impact on medical missions in Honduras from both the recipient and host organizations.  You can view the recording of this webinar and other past pillar talk webinars on the PQMD website.

PQMD is currently planning the following additional webinars in the coming months:
  • Forces that Contribute to Health Security- August 18, 2020 
  • SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Promises and Realities- August 26, 2020
  • Emerging roles of mobility, infrastructure and innovation experts in healthcare supply chains within the COVID-19 landscape-- responses to today's health crisis that will fortify our future (Date TBD)
You can register on the CoP.

PQMD COVID-19 Pillar Talk on SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Promises and Realities

There are over 120 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates currently in development and nations are seeking to return to some level of "normalcy" and economic resurgence. Focus has fallen on rapid vaccine development to prevent further spread while scientists are also seeking more effective treatments. 

The science surrounding vaccine development is separate from challenges that must be overcome for effective administration of those vaccines. Challenges may include:
  • Difficult decisions about the value of vaccines with limited efficacy and/or multiple doses
  • Limited supply with projected global need of 16 billion doses
  • Global distribution and supply chain capabilities
  • Public vaccine acceptance, especially of those vaccines in accelerated development
  • Prioritization of populations to receive the vaccine, especially if those who are most vulnerable benefit least from the vaccine
  • Establishing a global framework to guarantee equitable and timely vaccine allocation to include low-and middle-income countries
  • Ethical challenges in equitable distribution of vaccine within and across populations
PQMD is excited to partner with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to enable meaningful dialogue centered on these and other challenges in administration of a COVID vaccine in our PQMD COVID-19 Pillar Talks on SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Promises and Realities. There will be 2 sessions, with a follow-on session later. Participants in the first panel will be asked to provide historical context for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and how those inform challenges or opportunities in the development or distribution of this vaccine. The second panel will involve representatives of corporation engaged in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development, manufacturing, and distribution. Panel 3 will occur after a vaccine (or vaccines) has been accepted and manufacturing relationships have been established.

The first session is planned for August 26, 2020 from 10am-12pm EST.  For up-to-date information on the PQMD COVID-19 Pillar Talks, visit the CoP.


PQMD Member News- COVID-19


PQMD Members Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic 

PQMD is continuing to monitor how members are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of our members are doing incredible work to assist with this crisis around the world. You can find updates on what PQMD members are doing on the CoP (members only) or the PQMD website. If you have an update you'd like us to include, please send an email to Sam MacDonald at  

Additionally, we can also include fundraising campaigns efforts. Please send to Beth Haynes at 




IHP Hosts Summer Series Webinar: If There's a New Role for Product Donations in the Post COVID-19 World

On July 15th, IHP held a webinar titled: If There's a New Role for Product Donations in the Post COVID-19 World. The panel included corporate and NGO partners, including PQMD Executive Director, Elizabeth Ashbourne (EJ), Marissa Pledger, Project Manager for DRC-based Panzi Hospital and Foundations, and Mark Repath, Customer Service Manager at Janssen. The panel discussed the implications of the present crisis on the product donations landscape.

EJ Ashbourne identified some trends emerging early on, including price wars for products and a pivoting of NGOs and companies. "Local regulations were mandating what could and couldn't be shipped, so there was a real push (for) a rationalization of regulatory environments (to) continue to support the global community." 

Mark Repath reflected on how the pandemic causes companies to "go into overdrive a bit" to manage concerns such as securing supply, protecting vulnerable people, supporting the workforce and managing finances. Marissa Pledger related some of the impacts COVID-19 has had on the work of the hospital in DRC, which usually sees around 100 patients per day, and has 430 beds, a large portion for survivors of sexual violence. Fear, says Marissa, has caused "a significant reduction in other patients coming". 

IHP is holding a summer series of webinars to encourage those in their community to continue essential conversations given the current circumstances due to COVID-19. To view a recording of the webinar, click on IHP's website here. To read a summary of the July 15th webinar, click here

BD Partners with U.S. Government on $70 Million Manufacturing Infrastructure Project for Mass Vaccination Campaigns

On July 8th, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, announced the formation of a strategic, public-private partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), as part of the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, to develop new manufacturing lines for injection devices that will provide priority access to the U.S. government for hundreds of millions of syringes and needles to support current and future pandemic vaccination efforts.

As part of the partnership, BARDA will invest an estimated $42 million into a $70 million capital project to further expand BD's operations and manufacturing capacity in Nebraska, where the company has manufactured medical devices for nearly 70 years. The new capacity is expected to be online within 12 months and once completed, BARDA will have priority access to injection devices from these new manufacturing lines to support mass vaccination efforts for COVID-19 and future pandemics.

In addition, BD also finalized an initial pandemic order for 50 million needles and syringes to be delivered by the end of December 2020 to support the U.S. vaccination effort for COVID-19. This order will be fulfilled through BD's current manufacturing capacity, and the company continues to work closely with the U.S. government to finalize additional near-term quantities of injection devices that will be needed to fulfill the promise of the Operation Warp Speed vaccine program.  

Read the full press release on BD's website here.  


Midmark Donation Helps Medical Teams International Respond to COVID-19 in the U.S.  

Just a few months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Midmark Corp. donated 14 ultrasonic cleaners to Medical Teams International. With these new, state-of-the-art products onboard its Mobile Dental Vans, Medical Teams' staff and professional dental volunteers have been able to response more effectively and efficiently to urgent needs related to COVID-19 throughout Washington and Oregon.

As the COVID-19 virus spreads in the U.S., dental offices closed and emergency rooms became overloaded, making it difficult to treat emergency dental problems in a timely manner. Medical Teams' normal Mobile Dental Clinics were canceled, but the governors of Oregon and Washington deemed Medical Teams an essential service. This enabled the team to run emergency dental clinics in the Pacific Northwest. For several months, Medical Teams has been providing emergency dental care for at-risk populations-- screening them for COVID-19 ahead of visits-- to keep them from having to go to emergency rooms.

Midmark's timely donation was instrumental in equipping staff and volunteers to meet needs quickly and safely. The Midmark QuickClean Ultrasonic Cleaners, with advanced technology, provide a safer, more efficient work environment for the clinicians by decreasing their exposure to conaminants, while reducing the itme and effort needed for cleaning.

Mitch Eiting, global philanthropic and corporate giving manager stated, "During these unprecedented times, healthcare facilities are challenged now more than ever with controlling and preventing the spread of infection as they diagnose and treat patients. We are excited about the work Medical Teams international is doing to bring emergency dental care to at-risk communities while keeping patients safe."
Additionally, as COVID-19 broke out, hospital emergency rooms became busy seeing people possibly infected with the virus. To meet the rapidly growing demand for tests, many hospitals set up drive-thru screening sites. Medical Teams quickly repurposed its fleet of Mobile Dental Vans to support testing. The mobile clinics began providing COVID-19 testing in Washington State. Testing sites rotated in the Seattle/King County area, and populations served included unhoused, migrant, and low-income populations. Medical Teams also positioned one of its vans in Issaquah, Washington, to support a testing site at Swedish Hospital.

Medical Teams also responded to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves. As a global medical charity that ships life-saving supplies from its warehouse every week, Medical Teams is thankful they could fill some of these gaps for nurses and doctors. The organization packed up and shipped supplies from its warehouse and Mobile Dental Vans as needs arose.

With the help of Midmark and other corporations that have donated time, products, and resources, Medical Teams International has been able to better assist those in greatest need during the pandemic, through emergency dental services, COVID-19 testing, and the provision of PPE. The organization looks forward to continued collaboration to meet ongoing needs, with a focus on serving marginalized populations.

Stop TB Partnership and Johnson & Johnson, with support from USAID and The Global Fund, Announce Price Reduction for SIRTUO for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Low-and Middle-Income Countries 

On July 6th, The Stop TB Partnership and Johnson & Johnson- with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced joint efforts to help enable low- and middle-income countries to rapidly scale up use of SIRTURO 100mg tablets in support of new, recently- released World Health Organization (WHO) treatment guidelines.

Effective on July 6th, Johnson & Johnson made bedaquiline available to Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility (GDF) at a price of USD$340 per six-month treatment course for more than 135 elibilble countries. To help support and accelerate further scale-up of all-oral treatment regiments, the company will also provide an escalating percentage of free goods when certain volume thresholds are reached on an annual basis: 10% above 55,000, 20% above 125,000 and 30% above 200,000 treatment courses.

With support from the Global Fund and USAID, as well as governments and other partners, the Stop TB Partnership expects to receive confirmed orders for at least 125,000 people with DR-TB in 2020 and will, therefore, receive two treatments for free out of every 10 ordered. This would reduce the effective net price of bedaquiline by 32%, compared to the original USD$400 price. In the first year alone, this could lead to an estimated savings of up to USD$16 million for national TB programs- equivalent to the amount needed to treat an additional 30,000 people with short-course DR-TB regimens.

Read the full press release on the Johnson & Johnson website here. 

BD Launches Portable, Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Test to Detect SARS-CoV-2 in 15 Minutes, Dramatically Expanding Access to COVID-19 Testing

On July 6th, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), a leading global medical technology company, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a rapid-point-of-care, SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test for use with its broadly available BD Veritor Plus System. The launch of this new assay that delivers results in 15 minutes on an easy-to-use, highly portable instrument is critical for improving access to COVID-19 diagnostics because it enables real-time results and decision making while the patient is still onsite. BD expects to ramp-up manufacturing capacity to 2 million tests per week by the end of September. 

The launch of the BD Veritor Plus System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV2 Assay is the latest effort in the company's comprehensive response to address critical health needs related to the global pandemic. Read the full press release on BD's website here.  


Mercy Ships Stand with 11 West and Central African Partner Nations in Coronavirus Fight 

Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Services, took delivery of a donation of PPE designated for the nation of Ghana today by Mercy Ships President Rosa Whitaker on behalf of the charity to support the national battle with coronavirus. 

"We applaud Ghana's fight against this virus," stated Whitaker. "Mercy Ships is committed to build on the collaboration between NGOs, the private sector and the public sector and encourages others to do the same," she added. 

"Although many have predicted that the pandemic is inevitable within Africa and that this continent will soon become the epicenter of the new outbreak, we stand with our African partners at this crucial time. It is our hope and belief that nations can get ahead of this curve and hold back the relentless effects that this pandemic could have on our formal and informal economies and people," stated Whitaker. 

"For more than 30 years, Mercy Ships has stood shoulder to shoulder with our African partners to address the global surgery crisis. Even though borders are closed, and we cannot physically be present right now, Mercy Ships continues to conduct online medical capacity training and support ongoing projects with partners on the ground. We are committed for our ship to return to help strengthen healthcare systems within West and Central Africa, as soon as the global situation allows," said Whitaker. 

Mercy Ships has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to eight partner nations within West and Central Africa: Benin, Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo totaling 80,800 items and 20 infrared thermometers and will donate PPE to an additional three countries Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Guinea. 

The donation to Ghana includes 9000 (PPE) items consisting of: 1,500 nursing caps, 1,500 medical protective glasses, 1,500 masks FFP2, 1,500 pairs of gloves, 1,500 surgical gowns, 1,500 pairs of shoe covers and five Infrared Thermometers (IT). 

The people of Ghana hold a warm place in the hearts of all Mercy Ships crew, volunteers, and international staff, said Whitaker. Mercy Ships has been involved with Ghana since 1991 and a Mercy Ship has docked four times in Ghana. The Africa Mercy has 85 long/short term crew from Africa, 10 of whom are Ghanaians in roles ranging from engineering to HR. 

The donation was made in the presence of Dr. Juliette Tuakli and Lucy Quist Mercy Ships, International Board Members who reside in Ghana. Read on Mercy Ships' website here.


Highlights From Around the Web



Ten Years Since United Nations Assembly Recognized Water as a Human Right

Although it has been ten years since the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized water as a human right, there are still 785 million people who still lack access to clean water. In addition, around 2 billion people do not have a good toilet of their own.

On July 28, 2010, the UN resolution called upon countries to provide safe, clean, accessible, and affordable drinking water and sanitation. The UN resolution recognized water, sanitation and hygiene as a human right and has become an important tool in supporting WASH advocacy. 

However, advocates are frustrated with the recognition and implementation of the resolution at the national and local levels. According to the UN, about two-thirds of countries include water and sanitation as human rights in their constitutions, but there are different ways that countries interpret this recognition affecting the implementing of the practice. At the same time, COVID-19 has highlighted the need for WASH more and found that hospitals and houses in Iraq, Venezuela and Zimbabwe still do not recognize the right to water and sanitation. 

In order to progress on the implementation of WASH, experts recommend that the U.N. and international donor community support electoral processes around the world with information around WASH. This may include developing coalitions and joint messages, writing to candidates, hosting roundtables and making sure those running for office understand the importance of WASH as a human right. 

Read more on the Devex website here


Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and COVID-19 Outbreak in DRC 

The WHO declared the start of the Equateur province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) EVD outbreak on June 1, 2020. As of July 21, 62 cases have been reported across 21 health areas in 7 zones- 58 of the cases are confirmed and 4 are probable. Of the 62 infected, 27 people have died, leading to an overall case fatality of approximately 44%. Responders have vaccinated 14,139 people with the vaccine developed by Merck. The vaccine is given to individuals at higher risk of acquiring EVD such as health workers and those who qualify according to ring vaccination practices.

As of July 22nd, DRC has reported 8,533 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 195 deaths- 91 of the cases and 2 of those deaths were reported only in the last 24 hours. The country is considered to have community transmission by WHO standards. At least 158 of those infected were health workers. As of July 14th, The DRC had the tenth highest case counts and the sixth highest total deaths in the WHO Africa region. The country also had a case fatality ratio of 2.3%- slightly higher than the 1.7% case fatality ration for the entire Africa region. 

Read the full report here.


Floods in India, Nepal Displace Nearly 4 Million People, at Least 189 Dead 

Nearly four million people in India's northeastern state of Assam and neighboring Nepal have been displaced by heavy flooding from monsoon rains, with dozens missing as deaths rose to at least 189.

The overflowing Brahmaputra River, which flows through China's Tibet, India and Bangladesh, has damaged crops and triggered mudslides, displacing millions of people, officials said. 

More than 2.75 million people in Assam have been displaced by three waves of floods since late May that has claimed 79 lives. Assam is facing the twin challenge of combating floods and the coronavirus pandemic. India is dealing with the novel coronavirus, which has infected nearly 1.1  million people and 26,816 have died from the disease. 

Read more here

Upcoming Events

World Breastfeeding Week 
August 1-7, 2020

Anera Webinar: Remembering the Forgotten: How Lebanon's Refugees and Other Vulnerable Communities are Coping in Increasingly Dire Circumstances 
August 6, 2020; 12pm EST

PQMD Pillar Talk Webinar: Forces Affecting Global Health Security
 August 18, 2020; 11am EST

World Humanitarian Day
 August 19, 2020

PQMD Pillar Talk Webinar: SARS- CoV-2 Vaccine Promises and Realities
 August 26, 2020; 10am-12pm EST

Americares Virtual Airlift Benefit
 October 3, 2020 

12th Annual Health and Humanitarian Logistic Conference
 Virtual- Dates coming soon





Connect with other PQMD members attending these conferences on our Community of Practice



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