Marta Klein, ECC missionary physician assistant, emailed this account of the visit she made on Monday to a large pharmacy not far from Gemena with medical team member Wade Carlson, CEUM medical director Dr. Aimé Nkakala, Byron Miller, and others. One of our goals for this current mission trip was to look for a good source for medicines nearby, as an alternative to the Netherlands, where we have been purchasing.
Cindy went with Ann and Beth today to Karawa. . . . Byron, Dr. Aimé, Wade, Bena (Dr. Aimé’s secretary), Giselle (Aimé’s wife), and myself went to Bwamanda to see the pharmacy there. Whoa! What a place! I’m amazed. It was a big warehouse. The first thing I noticed were big air conditioning units on the outside of the building, but I thought, “Umm, this is Africa. This is Congo. Those probably don’t work.” Boy, was I wrong! We walked in and a rush of refreshing cool air met us!
We got introduced to the director of the facility and the two on-staff pharmacists. Plus, as we walked in we were ushered past stacks and stacks of boxes of meds/supplies. They gave us a tour of the building which included their 3 “compartments” that are temperature controlled. The temperature is monitored 3 times a day–amazing! They even had a cold room where they kept the temp between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.
The stacks and shelves of supplies and meds were of recognizable brands and from companies that are reputable. After a fairly brief tour of the building we sat and listened to a very good POWER POINT presentation—yes, folks, they did a very good power point presentation complete with the projector and all!
It was a stretching time for me because it was all in French, so I tried to speak just in French–difficult for me right now, but I muddled through with the help of Dr. Aimé and huge help from Wade Carlson. He was great in helping getting things understood. He slipped right back into French which was very helpful for me, as well as for Byron to help understand what was being said.
The overall feeling of all who went is that this is a great place to start getting meds. I’ll let Byron fill you in on the details, but it looks really promising. We are wanting to put together some more details and present it to the new CEUM administration later this week. I, for one, am very hopeful!
SAJ 27 Apr 2012