Introducing Cassona International
Cassona was founded in 2013 to provide international trade and export finance consultancy. In 2020, I modified the mission of our company because of events in my own life that highlighted the need for access to quality healthcare in the African continent, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa. My mother passed away back home from cancer partly because of lack of access to operable diagnostic and imaging equipment.
I have found that while there are very competent and well-trained caregivers in Africa, they lack medical equipment and tools required to provide medical services. Accordingly, we set out to tackle the most pressing issues in that regard; 1) affordability of medical equipment, 2) access to credit facilities to acquire the equipment, and 3) removal of impediments to continued operability of medical equipment, such as power supply and local skilled technicians that could repair and maintain equipment manufactured by GE, Siemens, Phillips and similar manufacturers.
We solved the problem of affordability by “partnering” with a medical equipment refurbishing company here in the US, Radiology Oncology Systems. Together, we purchase preowned medical equipment from US hospitals, refurbish them to the highest standard and have them recertified as almost new. Refurbished and recertified medical equipment costs much less than new equipment. In some cases, the cost represents less than 30% of the original cost.
The second issue we have addressed regarding medical equipment is access to credit facilities for African buyers. We have “partnered” with the US Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank) and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide credit facilities to qualified buyers. Our role in this respect is to help African buyers qualify for short-term, medium and long-term financing for their purchases, depending on their qualification. There are requirements that must be satisfied in order to get financing, but we work closely with our buyers to make them credit worthy.
Third, we have now partnered with local technicians that can provide local repairs at much less expense than used to be the case when European or American technicians were flown in whenever the machines broke down. This has been a big money drain for Sub-Sahara Africans because foreign technicians are extremely expensive and dramatically increase the cost of providing healthcare in Africa. In addition, we couple each sale of a medical equipment with a sale of a power generator that can automatically take over when local electricity supply fails.
Our goal is to be the supplier of choice for buyers who are unable to afford high-end million-dollar equipment sold by the GEs, Siemens and Philips of the world. We want to “partner” with local vendors, hospitals and caregivers that share my desire to change the nature and quality of healthcare service delivery back home.