Created in September 1997 under the initiative of Prof Dr. Denis Mukwege, in a post-conflict period characterized by a shortage of quality medicine to treat the population in South Kivu, DCMP 8e CEPAC had to
centralize the purchase of medicines for health facilities of the Community of Pentecostal Churches in Central Africa (8e CEPAC).
Very quickly, given the enormous need for drugs in the East, the store expanded its coverage to other approved health facilities as well as to local and international NGOs working in South Kivu Province
and in the East of DR Congo.
Increasingly, the need for an internal restructuring of the DCMP 8e CEPAC was necessary, and in March 2010, a new team was set up, headed by Pharmacist Richard NECI as Director and Pharmacist Manager.
"Before taking the lead of the DCMP in March 2010, I had assumed the duties of Assistant Pharmacist and Head of Inventory from January 2007 to March 2010. One thought crossed my mind every day: see our province
of South Kivu like the other provinces of the country having a warehouse and a quality assurance system that meets GDP standards through the DCMP. The opportunity was there, with this well-established network of
clients and partners in South Kivu."
Since its creation, DCMP 8e CEPAC ran in a building used for sales and delivery of drugs on its ground floor, and in the upstairs several small rooms serving as storage areas. Warehousing standards and logistics were precarious, although the sources of supply (mainly from Europe - suppliers accredited by ECHO, USAID, etc.) and the quality of the medicines sold were irreproachable. The storage capacity was also low: two 40-feet containers would fill the depot to the point of making any other circulation impossible within. This forced the DCMP management to make several small orders resulting in high logistic costs and uncontrollable stock shortage. "After taking up my new position as director, I soon realized that it was time to do something to improve the wonderful service we gave to the people; and thank God, I had the full support of Prof. Dr. Denis Mukwege, Head of Department of Medical Works”. Nevertheless, the remaining challenge was where to find the necessary financial means to establish these GDP standards? Through its sales activities, as a non-profit organization, DCMP was only able to cover its operating needs (staff salaries and operating expenses), but there were not enough reserves for its needs of investment. In 2011, at the end of the USAID-funded AXxes Project, which was held by some local pharmaceutical depots, an opportunity was also offered to DCMP together with another local pharmaceutical depot to request an assessment for selection as storage sites for the new project that was to start, the PROSANI PROJECT. “In front of such opportunity, I soon realized that a door had been opened for my dream to be fulfilled for our province and DCMP. We had immediately set up a larger room in one of the buildings of the Department of Medical Works, which allowed us to be selected by MSH as part of the USAID-funded PROSANI Project. This was the starting point of our development.”
As soon as DCMP 8e CEPAC signed the first contract in 2012, several measures were put in place by the Department of Medical Works, accompanied by an action plan.
- Organize a visit at the regional and international level to strengthen the managerial capacity of the Director and allow him to find a management and warehouse model that would adapt to the context of our region and to DCMP’s expansion vision. Thus DIFAEM (German Institute for Medical Mission), a confessional German organization, financed in 2012 the participation of the Director at the WHO TBS (Technical Breeding Seminar) in Geneva. Then followed the visit of some warehouses of Quality Assurance of IDA and IMRES warehouses and QA systems in Holland, STEROP in Belgium, MEDS in Nairobi, JMS in Kampala and other local depot in DR Congo.
- Create a savings plan for the investment over 3 years (2012-2014) of the 100% of warehousing products (services) for the construction of a warehouse and the implementation of a system of QA meeting GDP standards.
- Building and equipping the warehouse with GDP standards.
- Request national and international recognition as a humanitarian purchasing center.
DCMP's success in executing the contract with MSH under the PROSANI Project has attracted other partners to contract for warehousing. These are IRC (2013-2016), CRS (2013-2014), PMU / ECHO (2014-2015), I + SOLUTION / CORDAID (2015), MDM / ECHO (2016-2017). "This contract with MSH and USAID has not only positively impacted our warehousing operations for partners, but has also clearly boosted our revenue growth significantly in 2016. Our increased storage capacity allows us to have enough stock to meet the province's drug needs. We feel useful to the province as it was our dream."
Thanks to this support from USAID as part of Project PROSANI, DCMP 8e CEPAC succeeded, without subsidies, the expensive cost of building and equipping the very large warehouse it has today installing inside modern equipment like a cold room, metal shelves, handling equipment, office furniture, generator, etc.). A quality assurance system is set up with a staff that has increased from 8 in 2012, to 28 since 2015, including 4 pharmacists. “We thank USAID for this support. We are a proof that the best help is the one aimed at strengthening the system. What DCMP has become should encourage all partners to use local structures to allow its sustainability and support for the sake of the population after the intervention is finished.
Working with DCMP 8e CEPAC, is contributing to improving access to quality medicines for our populations. Every order placed at the DCMP is invaluable for the improvement our system for quality drug access.”
Told by Richard NECI, currently Managing Director Pharmacist of DCMP