Annual PQMD Global Health Policy Forum
Each April, PQMD and members convene alongside representatives from a variety of multi-sectoral global companies, NGOS, and academics to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the global aid & health sector. This year we hosted our first virtual meeting, and have provided some reflections and session recordings below.
Reflections on PQMD’s 2021 Global Health Policy Forum
We spent our first day on this virtual forum journey, looking closely at the ESG framework and its intersection with public demand for private sector accountability. We were challenged to consider how newly emerging relationships and partnership can give life to even farther-reaching impacts to the benefit of global health, and respond to the call for greater access, access, access.
We were each called on to consider how COVID, understanding how tragic the pandemic is today, has also been catalytic for new innovation, more inclusive business practices, new governance structures, and new possibilities to improve access to healthcare for the most under-served and marginalized.
On day 2, we spent our time together talking about the “New Normal”. Muhammad Pate from the World Bank, told us that the amount of lost progress in international development, and the economic fallout due to COVID, cannot be underestimated in terms of loss of life, contractions of global economies, and the fragility of health systems, even those in our own backyards.
Similarly, the accelerated response in the global health and multilateral community is also unprecedented, with the standing up of global alliances like COVAX and others, World Bank operations approving billions of dollars at warp speed for both the public and private sectors, and the pulling forward of IDA replenishments that will help low and middle income countries, even while ODA levels are being reduced.
That said, the amount of lost progress in development due to COVID may be undeniable, and we truly miscalculated the fragility of our advancements and the potential consequences of a global pandemic. Yet, the crisis has put a light on some bare bone truths…we are completely interdependent, no matter how nationalistic or individualized our responses might be;
- no one is safe unless we are all safe,
- inequality is bad for everyone,
- stability is only achieved through universal access and equity, and health equality is only achieved if populations in crisis have the resources they need, predictable, quality resources, to be healthy and productive.
On day 3, we talked about what we know and charting our course for the future. We heard from an incredible group of experts and global health leaders on what we have learned from COVID, and how technology can lead to redefining success in access, equity and inclusion. We discussed the practical components of achieving a sustainable and resilient future for the most marginalized populations as well as perhaps our own communities.
Our keynote speakers, Dr. Peter Hotez and Professor Don Bundy spoke about the challenges of vaccine hesitancy in relation to controlling the pandemic, not only with respect to coverage, but also in relation to a dangerous spread of misinformation. It seems ever more important to delink good public health policies from national politics.
A multisector panel considered the potential of the vast efforts being made to make vaccines available, through COVAX, with multisectoral funding partners and the prediction of highly accelerated rates of access in the coming months.
We discussed the idea that until we identify those beyond the last mile, the world’s poorest, and consider their health needs through an equitable lens, we will not have a clear vision of the true scope of global health disparaties, nor will we be able to accurately measure our collective progress.
We considered that although vast resources have been mobilized at lightening speeds for technology and funding…bolstering systems, shoring up partnerships and securing sustainable funds for resilience is still a marathon rather than a sprint.
Our Capstone Keynote speaker Francois Bompart from DNDi assured us that access is a fragile and never-ending target, one that needs the constant attention of the global health community. Francois reminded us again, that partnerships are essential. He also gave us a framework to continue the conversation in the coming year. His comments on the way forward certainly will help to light our way to a road best traveled together.
But over the three days, we did find points of hope. We heard from pioneers who have leveraged technology to decrease traditional barriers to healthcare. We identified a need for early warning systems and there was a call for companies and NGOs to lean into what they do best to unblock the blocks to build back better.
Robert Mallett, on our first day, said that he saw COVID as a great equalizer. No matter how many scenario planning games we played, no matter how many classrooms, conferences, and meetings we have all sat in to playout what might happen when, and if, it still seems we weren’t ready for anything close to what COVID brought us. The crisis is everywhere, and I agree. And while this may feel overwhelming, it also means that everyone has a seat at the table, a motivation to work in partnership to find solutions.
Dynamic collaboration between the public and private sectors, can scale up and restore services, drive efficiency, support entrepreneurship and technology, and engage communities. This is a case where we need to act globally and act locally – indeed mission possible.
And finally, THANK YOU…We have all benefited from the incredible reflections our speakers have shared. Thank you to the incredible group of experts who made this program come to life. Thank you to Mark Chataway from Hyderus and Baird CMC and Veronica Arroyave from Baxter. Thank you to the PQMD members and the unmatchable PQMD staff. I hope the themes and thoughts explored these last three days, will resonate with you and provide some fuel for the days and months ahead as we pursue our “mission possible”.
We look forward to seeing you in Paris en deux mille vingt deux. A bientot!
Below you can find relevant information from previous meetings.
2020 Global Health Policy Forum
Important Announcement: 2020 Global Health Policy Forum Cancelled
After careful consideration and consultation with our members and collaborators, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 PQMD Global Health Policy Forum originally scheduled for April in New York. Our efforts are now focused on supporting our members who are deeply engaged in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and around the world.
Cancelling the Forum presents a significant opportunity to leverage both the commitments of our planned speaker panels as well as the network and expertise of incredible groups that would have participated in the event. In light of this, we are moving forward to organize a series of online virtual panel discussions that will address critical issues of concern to our mission around COVID-19. Topics will include Implications on Health Workforce, Unexpected Shifts in Supply Chain and Effects on Global Donations Programs, and Diagnostics for COVID-19.
Each panel session will be held separately on our webinar platform and more information will be forthcoming.
We hope that you will join us for these important online discussions, and we look forward to seeing you at the 2021 PQMD Global Health Policy Forum.
Best wishes and take care!
Elizabeth Ashbourne, Executive Director
Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
P.S. We were hoping to share our 20th Anniversary video with you in person, but we’re happy to share it virtually via the link below. Please enjoy, and feel free to share!
PQMD 20th Anniversary Video
2019 Global Health Policy Forum
April 16-17 – Geneva, Switzerland
Learn a bit about our 2019 Forum!
The 2019 Global Health Policy Forum galvanized cross-sectoral collective action by examining and challenging our current understanding of resilient and inclusive health systems, governance models, disaster response and pandemics all through the lens of product donations. The Forum highlighted the importance of innovation and systems thinking in an era of collaborative transformation to meet the challenges of global health governance & accountability to better define and measure health outcomes.
2018 PQMD Global Health Policy Forum
April 10-11, 2018 – Washington, D.C.
Learn more about what makes PQMD, and our members, unique, and why you should plan to join us for future forums!
This high level Forum explored the role of donations and their ability to create sustainable, enabling environments for the promotion of economic growth and prosperity. Guiding questions included:
How do donations become part of the path to sustainable health?
Do donations risk disempowering and undermining sustainable solutions?
What are the unintended consequences of donations?
What is the long term impact of donations assistance?
How do donors, agencies and organizations ensure that we are not creating dependency on donations, but rather moving down a path of sustainable improvement, using the right incentives and contributing to resilient health systems?
Can donations become a building block to support resilient health systems?
What does an exit strategy look like?
2017 PQMD Forum on Global Aid & Access for Health
April 3-4, 2017 – London, UK
The 2017 PQMD Forum on Global Aid and Access for Health, held April 3-6 in London, enabled partners and stakeholders to come together and discuss global access to medicine and health care, long-term investments in disease eradication, and the imperatives of pandemic preparedness. PQMD members, private sector and NGO representatives, along with global agency leaders, gathered to address issues relevant to access to global health and aid, and the many challenges and opportunities faced by the broad cross-section of participants. The forum, sponsored by Henry Schein and facilitated by PQMD, was made possible through additional support from PQMD members AbbVie, BD, , GSK, Pfizer, and Sanofi.