Access to Medical Devices in Low-Income Countries: Addressing Sustainability Challenges in Medical Device Donations

On the heels of PQMD’s recently released 2018 Guidelines for Quality Medical Donations, the National Academy of Medicine published a timely paper titled, “Access to Medical Devices in Low-Income Countries: Addressing Sustainability Challenges in Medical Device Donations.”

With a focus on how the donation of medicines and medical supplies can both help and hinder the most vulnerable and low-income of countries, the authors identified three areas where they propose further work: “…quality and appropriateness of the donations, sustainability after the donation is made, and visibility of the flow of donations globally.”

The authors, themselves with significant experience in the field of medical product and device donations, recognize and acknowledge the constraints of their work that so often may make donations either “difficult or damaging” to the health systems that are (in most cases) already quite fragile. The paper wisely lays out many of the challenges, and explores the possibly solutions necessary to ensure that the donations of equipment and products have their intended beneficial results.

Laying out steps for a path forward, the authors discuss how the broader donation community can use innovation and research to proactively improve the system of contributions both in small and large scale ways.

To read the full paper, click here.

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