Pink Drive for breast cancer launched in Western Cape

Breast cancer screenings will now be more accessible to women in the Western Cape thanks to PinkDrive's pink mobile breast cancer unit that will serve disadvantaged communities.

The Western Cape Department of Health and Cause Marketing Fundraisers (CMF) have formed a strategic partnership in making breast cancer screenings more accessible to women. This initiative will empower women to take responsibility of their health and to drive home the message that Early Detection Saves Lives.

The Provincial Government of the Western Cape and CMF have entered into a collaborative partnership to offer women breast health education and those over the age of 40 or with a family history of breast cancer, free mammograms through the PinkDrive project. An initiative of CMF (A section 21 Company registered under the Companied Act of South Africa. PBO.Nr 930025326), the PinkDrive currently runs two Pink mobile breast check units.

(Pic: Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha ,,, at the PinkDrive launch in Cape Town)

The educational unit is based in Gauteng and travels to corporate and semi-urban areas with the aim of enabling various disadvantaged communities with accessible mammography education and clinical examinations, while the mobile mammography screening unit will operate through local clinics, within the Metro Eastern Sub District in the Western Cape.

One in every 24 women diagnosed with cancer a year
“Currently the majority of women in South Africa are presenting with stage three and four cancer, this becomes difficult to manage. The PinkDrive aims to find cancers in stages one and two and therefore increase life expectancy,” said Noelene Kotschan from the PinkDrive.
“We are excited about our launch and the opportunity to bring our service to the people of the Western Cape, with the shocking statistics that one in every 24 women are diagnosed with breast cancer a year we strive to make breast health accessible to all women.” concluded Kotschan.

The PinkDrive is the only NGO in Sub Sahara Africa that does mobile mammography screening, it can screen up to 30 women a day providing a service to the community valued up to R30 000 a day.
As of Monday the 21 February 2011, the PinkDrive mobile mammography unit will paint Macassar, Kleinvlei and Gustrow pink as it visits these communities on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively. This public private partnership enables women to undergo mammograms and be screened for breast cancer in a state of the art mobile unit. The mobile mammography unit will screen for early signs of cancer affording patients the opportunity of different treatment options.

Fair healthcare and education for all
Prior to the start of the service, site inspections commenced which also coincided with the awareness campaign of the trucks arrival at the relevant Community Health Centres. The Western Cape Department of Health has identified breast cancer programmes to form part of the core elements to reduce both mortality and morbidity and increase life expectancy.
Breast Cancer is one of the biggest killer ‘s of women in South African and is becoming more common in younger and younger patients, it affects family dynamics to have a loved one, breadwinner, and child carer fall ill. The PinkDrive strives to assist in providing fair healthcare and education for all and in doing so empowering the public and their loved ones.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha says: "This strategic partnership will offer people who cannot afford health services, improved access to health services and will assist the Western Cape government to take services closer to the people.  Our aim is to have a health facility within reaching distance from your home."
"The strategic partnership with PinkDrive fulfills the vision of this provincial government to improve wellness and to give equal access to better health. In this way we can move closer to our goal of wellness."

Issued by the Directorate: Communications for the Western Cape Department of Health.

- (Health24, March 2011)

Read more:

Decoding breast cancer
My close encounter with breast cancer
'Cancer's a bitch'

Visit Health24's Breast Health Centre

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