Cassona was founded in 2013 to provide international trade and export finance consultancy. In 2020, we modified the mission of our company because of the pandemic and events in my personal life that highlighted the need for access to quality healthcare in the African continent, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa.
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, Cassona 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 the equipment manufactured by GE, Siemens, Phillips and similar manufacturers, in real time.
We solved the problem of affordability by “partnering” with medical equipment refurbishing companies here in the US, such as Radiology Oncology Systems and MXR Imaging Inc. 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 creditworthiness. 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. The long-distance maintenance contracts have been a big money drain for Sub-Saharan Africa because of the expense, which dramatically increases the cost of providing healthcare in Africa.
Cassona Ghana (a branch of Cassona USA Inc) now has an in-house engineering department and intends to grow this department to ensure availability of local maintenance service for our equipment. In addition, we couple each sale of a medical equipment with a sale of a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) and power generator that can automatically take over when local electricity supply fails, thus prolonging the life of each equipment.
We began our journey in the African continent by setting up our African headquarter in Accra, Ghana. This is primarily because of the business-friendly environment that prevail in Ghana generally and because Ghana is the birthplace of my late mother. I have found that there are very competent and qualified medical professionals in Ghana some of whom have joined our Board and Advisory Board to guide us in our dealings in Ghana.
Our goal is to be the supplier of choice for local hospitals and healthcare facilities who cannot afford brand-new life-saving diagnostic imaging equipment. The shortage is acute. Cassona can fill these needs with US refurbished medical diagnostic imaging equipment and first-class maintenance services. In order to deliver our vision of reducing the tragic loss of life due to lack of tools, we invite every Ghanaian healthcare practitioners to join us in our mission to change the nature and quality of healthcare service delivery in Africa through use of certified refurbished diagnostic imaging equipment.