PinkDrive is no newcomer to the NGO space. On 25th October 2019, PinkDrive is celebrating it’s 10th year of existence.
From humble beginnings, PinkDrive continues to grow and expand their fleet, in order to assist and offer free cancer screening services to the medically uninsured. In 2018, an additional three Women’s health units were added to the existing fleet of three Mobile Mammography and Gynaecology units, one EduTruck and seven educational vehicles.
Where did this all start? With a dream…
PinkDrive NPC, a health sector NGO, was founded in 2009 by Ms. Noelene Kotschan, on the premise that “Early detection saves lives.” Noelene, endured her own hardship with cancer and lost near and dear family members to cancer. She made the conscious decision that “Cancer” will become her mission and that she will be change in the cancer space. “When people ask me: How did PinkDrive come about, I jokingly say: through a spark of insanity. But I realised that breast cancer was on the incline in South Africa, and that the cancer space was ready for a tangible solution that could take health to the people. And so PinkDrive was born.” Said Noelene.
PinkDrive’s cardinal purpose is to contribute meaningfully towards preventing as many people as it can, from succumbing to breast, cervical, prostate and testicular cancer. Its primary focus is on citizens without access to reasonable care for these conditions, and who reside in areas where health services do not reach. It recognises that treatable cancers receiving even the basic levels of care, could translate into varying lengths of extended life for the afflicted, when detected and treated early. Its posture is ostensibly a promoter of health awareness in general, and specifically health education and heightening awareness of gender-related cancers in South Africa.
Promote awareness and early detection of, and screening for gender-related cancers in the general population of South Africa, using the message “Early detection will help to prolong life.”
To be the leading non-governmental organisation dedicated to creating and promoting awareness about cancer in South Africa, and potentially beyond.
PinkDrive has five principal interventions through its flagship programmes, PinkDrive® and More Balls Than Most®, channelled through mobile point-of-contact service delivery by skilled certificated medical/nursing practitioners, namely:
1. Clinical Breast Exams: A mass screening service provided to woman and men of all ages. This service includes one-on-one cancer education
focusing on self-examinations as well as a breast examination.
2. Mammograms: A select screening service primarily provided for woman over the age of 40, unless they are referred for a mammogram by a Doctor.
3. Pap Smears: Cervical Cancer Screening.
4. Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA): These tests are a form of rapid testing for men above the age of 40 years old. These tests are administered
by testing an adequate sample of blood taken from a subject.
5. Prostate and Testicular Cancer Awareness and Education: At all activations, More Balls Than Most sets up
information booths and supplies information flyers to educate the public about Prostate and Testicular Cancer.
Indigent and medically uninsured woman and men are the primary beneficiaries of PinkDrive NPC’s commitment. Citizens living in rural, township and semi-urban geographies across South Africa, are of highest priority. Beneficiaries who can afford payment for the service, are charged an approved nominal amount, which in turn funds the services to the indigent and medically uninsured beneficiaries.
PinkDrive in the Tshwane Region:
PinkDrive is in partnership with the city of Tshwane. PinkDrive services are offered on a rotational basis at clinics in and around the city. Through this, we are able to afford citizens access to mammography services and assisting to lift the burden on the Primary Hospitals.
10 years do not come without any challenges and up hills. But through perseverance, the outcome was favourable thus far. Noelene explains that the major hurdle is funding. “Funding will always be the bump in the road. PinkDrive is grateful towards all our supporters, funders and sponsors who have assisted us to reach the 10 year mark.” Noelene explains that one mobile mammography unit costs in the region on R10 million rand, but through the goodwill of corporate SA and their supporters, they are grateful to still be able to continue with their mandate.
One of the other challenges that are faced in general, is the lack of services, equipment and human resources in the public health sector. “PinkDrive offers diagnostic services but the patient then needs to be treated through the public health system. I take my hat off to the individuals, nurses, specialist and surgeons who remain committed to the patients and their needs under very trying circumstances” Said Noelene. She continues “But PinkDrive tries our utmost best to ensure that no patient is left destitute after a positive cancer diagnosis, as ultimately, cancer is curable if detected and treated.”
PinkDrive is committed to South Africa and will continue to deliver their cancer screening services to those in need, across South Africa for hopefully many decades to come! But PinkDrive cannot do it alone. There are many ways how one can support this organisation and their initiatives. PinkDrive offers wellness days where on-site mammography, pap smears, clinical breast examinations, PSA screening and education can be offered, and CSI certificates can be issued for the spend.
You can help make a difference:
Donate R100 to PinkDrive, and you can stand a chance of winning a freestanding Bath, basin and 2 square meter Mosaic. Visit PinkDrive’s website for more information and to enter (T’s and C’s Apply) : https://www.pinkdrive.co.za/win-a-freestanding-bath-basin-and-tile-set/
Contact Antoinette Joubert, Tshwane Representative for more ways to get involved with our cause: firstname.lastname@example.org.