Thanks to its partners (the Inspectorate of Health, national and international NGOs, donors and others), Asrames asbl has been able to play an important role in the region since 1995. This was primarily to make quality essential medicines, medical consumables and laboratory supplies available.
The Asrames experience shows it is possible to ensure the development of a central medical store in difficult circumstances. However, a condition is that all partners (national and international religious and secular, humanitarian and development) collaborate together to support the initiative.
The idea of creating Asrames asbl came from an felt need for a sustainable solutions for the supply of quality medicines. It was realised with financial support from overseas partners.
Different persons were involved in the development of Asrames association from early 1992. Most of the chief medical officers of the health zones in North Kivu, the team of the Provincial Health Inspectorate and the managers and coordinators of the founding members.
Some of the persons involved were:
– Dr. MUKENGESHAY, former Provincial Medical Inspector of North Kivu and is currently Director of the 5th Division at the Ministry of Public Health,
– Dr Etienne Bahati, former Coordinator Damien Foundation and North Kivu currently Program Director for the fight against Tuberculosis in Mali,
– Dr. Etienne Mugisho, former Coordinator of CEMUBAC and currently professor at the School of Public Health of the Free University of Brussels,
– Dr. Jean Maganga, currently President and Director of ADOSAGO and CEDIGO,
– Dr. Jannes van der Wijk, former Head of Mission MSF-H and currently a member of MDF,
– Ms Annet Bok, former Director and now Director of MDF-AC
– Mr. Raphael SENGA, former Director of AMI KIVU and currently Director of AMI-LAB,
– Mr. CHIKOMOLA, Ami-Kivu
– Sister Yannick, BDOM North Kivu
– Dr. KABUYAYA, Church of Christ in Congo, and many others.
Currently Asrames asbl is self-financing: It ensures its financial sustainability by selling medicines and other medical supplies without direct financial support from donors.
This was possible as donors and the government decided to finance Asrames’ clients directly. The clients pay a fair market price for Asrames’ products which allows the organisation to cover its operating costs.
Asrames association has signed an agreement with the Congolese Government, other key donors in the region (EU, GFATM PR and others) to ensure the supply of medical supplies to health facilities.
With the recognition of Asrames as Humanitarian Procurement Center, ECHO-funded NGOs are allowed to source products directly from Asrames without necessarily passing through tendering procedures.
Nationally, Asrames asbl is a founding member of FEDECAME which represents the interests of members, shares experiences, monitors their performance and has in its fold two national level purchasing offices.
Asrames asbl has invested heavily in improving the storage conditions of its products to show that even in difficult circumstances it is possible to apply and maintain good storage and distribution practices.
Pre-financing solar equipment and medicines imported by sea and air, is not obvious, Asrames negotiates payment schedules with suppliers, partners and customers.