1.3 Medical equipment, products & supplies

Global Hand recommends the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations as summarised here. By describing “good donation practice”, these guidelines aim to improve the quality of drug donations.

The following is designed to be read in light of Principles, and Cross-referential Issues.

Feedback? We would be grateful to hear from you if you have:
  • Relevant resources
  • Comments or suggestions or stories
  • Stories of product unwisely/wisely placed.

Please email us at enquiries@globalhand.org

1.3. Medical equipment, products & supplies

Global Hand recommends the Pharmaceutical Program ’ Guidelines for Medical Equipment Donation ’. These Guidelines are a guide for those accepting and making donations, as well as for those planning to buy equipment.

Here is the complete summary from the ‘Guidelines on Medical Equipment Donation’.


1.3.1 Standardise equipment

Summary, Guidelines for Medical Equipment Donation

This ensures a greater likelihood of:

  • Economical purchasing of spare parts and appropriate storage
  • Availability of instruction manuals
  • Availability of local expertise in operation and maintenance procedures
  • Selection of appropriate equipment

1.3.2 Involve technical departments

Technicians can be asked to consider and advise upon:

  • Installation, operation and maintenance requirements
  • Staff and training requirements for users and technicians
  • The essential spare parts required
  • Appropriateness of equipment in terms of running costs and technical design.

1.3.3 Specify clearly items to accompany the equipment

These should include:

  • A full set of technical documents in a specified language
  • An agreed quantity of spare parts and supplies
  • A document of warranty (guarantee) for the replacement or repair of faulty equipment.

1.3.4 Make a check-list ( see full text of the guidelines) including all the above.

This ensures that the donor receives enough information to make an appropriate response.

1.3.5. Communicate alternative preferences

For example, if a financial contribution would be more appropriate than a donation of equipment from abroad, make this clear to the donor.h2. Donor:

1.3.6. Communicate with the recipient

Make sure that the potential recipient has provided a comprehensive description of the equipment required.

1.3.7. Supply fully functional equipment

Test the equipment and make sure all necessary spare parts and supplies are included in the package before making shipment. Do not supply worn-out, broken or redundant equipment.

1.3.8. Supply all technical documents

Installation, operation, maintenance and repair manuals and diagrams should be made available in a language understood by the users and the technicians.

1.3.9. Supply enough consumables and spare parts to last at least two years

Include a complete list of spare parts and indicate the name and address of the authorised dealer.

Member comments:
Section 1.3.9, on medical equipment, may be achievable for agencies with large budgets where parts and consumables for 2 years can be included perhaps in funding grants/contracts. However, for some Global Hand members this provision may force them to cease all shipments involving consumable medical goods. For example, supplying two years worth of X-ray film to a busy hospital in Nairobi, which might take several hundred shots a week, involves a cost that would be beyond many Global Hand members.

1.3.10. Ensure proper packaging and shipping:

  • Use strong sturdy and easy-to-handle packing materials
  • Include a comprehensive packing list
  • Supply shipping documents promptly

1.3.11. Offer technical assistance

This should include promoting, recommending and providing training for users and for maintenance personnel.

1.3.12. Understand the import regulations in the recipient’s country

Make sure that the recipient is able to cover the costs of custom duties and any other charges associated with importation."

See the Pharmaceutical Program’s Guidelines on Medical Equipment Donation for further detail.


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