Medical Donations Partner Spotlight: BD and Airlink
CMMB has been distributing medicines and medical supplies around the world for over 90 years. We formally launched our Medical Donations Program in 1961. Our history, reputation, and long-term commitment to serving low-resource communities has given us the foundation to build deep relationships with partner organizations. Some of those partnerships date back decades and others are newly developed with emerging opportunities. This past year, we were fortunate to bring both types of partners together to facilitate a donation of over seven million Flu+ Syringes around the world. We would like to take the opportunity to recognize these two partners and what we were able to accomplish together, BD and Airlink.
BD has been a trusted CMMB partner for over 25 years, contributing to our mission through regular donations of lifesaving medical supplies. They generously came to CMMB seeking to make the donation of millions of Flu+ Syringes. CMMB began working with Airlink, another valued partner, last year. As aviation and logistic experts, Airlink helps non-governmental organizations like CMMB transport resources where they are needed most, including to emergency and disaster zones. Airlink was essential to helping us coordinate shipping.
From start to finish, securing a donation of seven million syringes, and distributing them to partners around the world, was no small feat. It took countless hours and a multitude of stakeholders including clinicians, partnership managers, corporate social responsibility teams, ministry of health partners, global operations teams, supply chain experts, logistics officers, customs clearance agents, administrative personnel, and more. All these actors needed to come together to make this incredible donation happen.
The high cost of global shipping is an all-too-common barrier when it comes to distributing medical supplies. If a donation recipient cannot arrange for shipping themselves, it means they may not be able to accept the lifesaving donation.
When BD came to CMMB with such a large donation of syringes, we knew that the shipping costs would be prohibitive for partners who would otherwise wish to accept the donation. Learning this, BD committed to support shipping and leveraged their relationship with Airlink to find solutions.
We were able to coordinate the delivery of seven million syringes to clinicians in low-resource countries, preventing them from being sent for destruction. In a time of unprecedented medical waste, contributing to long-term impacts for the planet, it is wonderful when we can be part of a solution. This generous donation of syringes was a fantastic example of how partners can come together to improve global health outcomes and work collectively to be responsible stewards of our planet.
Once in the hands of healthcare workers, these syringes can be utilized for routine vaccinations in facilities or support vaccination campaigns in communities. Vaccines are estimated to prevent almost six million deaths globally per year and extend a person’s productive life years.
This is but one example that illustrates the lifesaving power of commitment and trust—the essential value in partnership. We are grateful that six recipient partners in five countries will be able to distribute the syringes to clinics and health facilities that need them most.
Thank you, BD and Airlink. We are grateful for our shared belief in healthier lives worldwide.
Voices from the team who made it happen
Stephanie Steege, Director of Humanitarian Programs at Airlink
“Airlink is committed to supporting health systems strengthening in fragile contexts around the world. At the same time, many of Airlink’s partners and other local NGOs working in these contexts cannot sustain their vital healthcare programs without donations of both supplies and the logistics to deliver them. We are proud to have been able to work with BD, CMMB, and our global logistics network to make these donations of needles and syringes possible, sending an influx of much-needed medical supplies to Zambia, Kenya, Haiti, Sri Lanka, and Sierra Leone.”
Amber Gaumnitz, Pharmaceutical Engagement Manager at CMMB
“The syringes will be invaluable for vaccination campaigns in these low-income countries. Under-resourced health systems must constantly make heartbreaking choices about how to allocate their limited healthcare dollars. In-kind donations, like these syringes, extend the reach of those scarce resources—ultimately saving lives, improving health outcomes, and strengthening health systems.”
Sorcha Tuboeuf, EMEA Social Investing Manager at BD
“At BD one of our values that we live by day to day is, “Doing what is right!” When an opportunity to donate over 35 million syringes was presented to me, it was a perfect opportunity to really live our value. There were many moving parts working on this substantial and complex donation that was being shipped to all corners of the world, and that needed to be done in a very short timeline.
We speak a lot about the value of partnerships, and I can honestly say this was a “magical trio,” where we all pulled together to achieve what seemed at times unachievable!
Thank you both CMMB and Airlink for helping to improve health outcomes and strengthening health systems globally.”