Partnership to provide critical cancer screening to Tshwane communities

Tswhane residents at one of the PinkDrive breast cancer screening programmes. Picture: Supplied

Tswhane residents at one of the PinkDrive breast cancer screening programmes. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 8, 2024


PinkDrive has teamed up with the City of Tshwane's Health Department to bring gender-related mobile cancer screening to communities with limited resources.

The partnership relaunch will take place at the Phomolong Clinic in Atteridgeville on Tuesday, and MMC for Health Rina Marx will be the keynote speaker.

CEO and founder of PinkDrive Noelene Kotschan said its purpose is to bridge the gap between public and private health care by using mobile cancer screening.

She said the partnership was initiated in 2017 when PinkDrive visited all municipal clinics in Tshwane to provide clinical breast examinations and mammograms.

’’The renewal of this partnership demonstrates the commitment of the two parties to jointly address the cancer burden in South Africa and to take services closer to communities,’’ she said.

Kotschan said PinkDrive will play a crucial role in creating breast cancer awareness and facilitating early detection and, therefore, access to treatment.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting South African women. It is estimated that one in every 28 South African women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime; the good news is that it can be treated if detected early,’’ she added.

Group head of the department Koena Nkoko said they recognise with gratitude the important work PinkDrive is doing in the South African cancer space.

“The renewed agreement is part of the Tshwane Health Department’s commitment to bring cancer screening to more communities,’’ he said.

According to the latest agreement between the City and PinkDrive, the NPO will perform 25 free mammograms per visit and provide breast cancer education at 12 municipal clinics this year.

Nkoko said if private sector funding is available, additional services such as pap smears, clinical breast exams for younger women, and prostate-specific antigen testing for men could be provided.

Kotschan further said providing the City of Tshwane with these free services and reaching communities with adequate staff and resources is a huge undertaking. To continue strengthening the positive impact PinkDrive has on communities throughout South Africa, corporate South Africa and other funders will need to continue to support this initiative.

“PinkDrive appeals to all organisations interested in supporting community health care in Tshwane to partner with us in bringing critical cancer screening to all our communities,’’ she said.

According to the latest stats, PinkDrive has provided 26 705 free mammograms, done over 433 674 clinical breast examinations, 10 669 pap smears and 20 231 prostate-specific antigen tests in community areas and educated over 500 000 women and men in South Africa on the importance of early detection of cancer.

Residents with breast cancer concerns are urged to visit their nearest clinic first for a referral and to be examined by a health professional and, when necessary, they will be referred to one of the scheduled PinkDrive service points.

‘’PinkDrive will only attend to patients referred by the clinics,’’ added Kotschan

Pretoria News