Each year, developing nations receive tons of free medical supplies donated from health systems and nonprofit organizations across the United States. Some credit donations for up to 80 percent of their supplies. The problem is—not all of it is useful. According to one estimate, around 40 percent of donated medical equipment found in low-income nations is not usable.
But in December of 2019, before the potential impact of COVID-19 was even known, Medline hosted a supply chain roundtable with a dozen industry experts to discuss challenges and possible solutions for better, more responsible donation of medical supplies to low-resource countries.
In 2021, we will kick off a pilot project in partnership with a low-to-middle-income (LMIC) country, region or cadre of hospitals. The goal is to document, refine and replicate supply chain best practices for global health settings.