As in many other parts of the world, breast cancer is a leading cause of death for many South African women. South Africa, however, has a significantly higher mortality rate than other comparable countries, the reasons for which include the following:
- Lack of accessibility to health care centres or screening sites, within both rural and urban areas
- Lack of resources within the public sector to support such screening, this includes inadequately qualified staff as well as insufficient staff numbers; there are also only five apex or referral centres in the public sector nationally
- Cultural beliefs and stigma
- Low literacy rates and a lack of education
Confronted with these challenges, Pink Drive has created its education trucks and mobile mammography units to generate awareness, educate, and provide services to the women who need it the most.
In order to provide free services to disadvantaged communities, PinkDrive offers its services to the corporate sector, whose funds pay for the programme's running costs. Additional funds are supplied through the involvement of South African businesses, which sponsor PinkDrive as port of their corporate social responsibility.
To date, PinkDrive has made considerable progress:
- The first mobile mammography unit was launched on 30 June 2009
- The conversion and registration of the medical equipment has taken place
- The unit is equipped with the new CR unit
- Identification and discussion with interested stakeholders is ongoing within the public sector
- Development of educational literature for the rural areas is under way in collaboration with other stakeholders
- Development of a bespoke internet programme for database/statistical collection
- Work with the department of radiation, and equipment suppliers
- Continued collaboration with NGOs and government stakeholders will ensure a greater reach
PinkDrive is committed to improving breast cancer awareness, education, and providing and offering services to women across South Africa, particularly to those who do not have access to information on breast health. PinkDrive currently has two mobile breast units working in four provincial hospitals in Gauteng, serving some 1.6 million women.
The PinkDrive mobile mammography unit and education truck reaches women in areas where there are no facilities. They also drive the message to corporate environments leaving us" busy-being-busy" girls with no more excuses. The fact is: "Early Detection Saves Lives".
Skin & Body Renewal became a sponsor in 2010, supporting the PinkDrive and breast cancer awareness during October months.
October 2010 we funded a unique initiative by manufacturing 3D cards in the form of a lotus flower and sold them within our Branches and various shopping centres in hope to raise as many funds as possible for the PinkDrive throughout October. We managed to sell 638 flowers and raised R 12 770! The funds collected went towards marketing collateral and assisting in getting the PinkDrive's name more visible to the public. The flowers not sold, were donated to Pink Drive to sell at their events. We also sponsored R10 000 towards a table at the M-Net Lunch.Laugh.Life Breast Cancer Luncheon. The tickets for this table were given to ten less fortunate ladies who wouldn't have had the opportunity to attend this luncheon previously.
In October 2011, we once again sponsored R 10 000 towards a table which was given to ten cancer patients to attend the Shades of Pink Breast Cancer luncheon, at Emperors Palace.