PinkDrive’s fleet will grow with two new vehicles thanks to the Japanese Embassy in South Africa. The donation was announced at the Baragwanath Taxi Rank on Friday February 2nd during PinkDrive’s activation to commemorate World Cancer Day which is celebrated yearly on February 4th.
PinkDrive currently runs three “Pink” mobile breast check units, as well as six educational cars. All units travel to semi-urban and urban areas around South Africa with the aim of enabling numerous disadvantaged communities access to diagnostic mammography screening, education, physical examinations and how to do breast self-examination.
The two new Women’s health units, in the form of mini-bus vehicles, will be used to offer cervical cancer screening in the form of pap smears to the medically uninsured. PinkDrive is able to deliver reports to clinics and those screened in a suitable time frame. This ties back to PinkDrive’s motto that “Early Detection Saves Lives!”
Minister-Counsellor from the Japanese Embassy, Shuichiro Kawaguchi, joined PinkDrive on the day and made the announcement. He explained that the Embassy of Japan has been supporting PinkDrive since 2014 when the Embassy, through their Official Development Assistance Fund, gave funding to PinkDrive to build their third Mobile Mammography Unit, named Misaki which means ‘beautiful blossom’ in Japanese.
“Japan recognises the important work PinkDrive is doing in the South African cancer space. We know that an additional two vehicles will further assist them in delivering their screening services and to reach more citizens!” said Kawaguchi.
Noelene Kotschan, CEO and Founder of PinkDrive, says these vehicles will assist their organisation to make an even bigger impact in communities.
“We have realised that the need for screening of cervical cancer has drastically increased. As our current units also offer the mammography service, it will be easier for medical staff to offer the Pap smear service without necessarily having to take drivers and other resources. The result will be that we can have more services running concurrently.”
She expressed PinkDrive’s gratefulness towards the Embassy of Japan for taking hands with PinkDrive and investing in the people of South Africa through the organisation.
PinkDrive has, to date, provided over 11 500 free mammograms, done over 108 500 clinical breast examinations in community areas and educated over 297 100 women and men in South Africa on the importance of early detection of cancer.