Breast Cancer Remains a Mystery in South Africa, Education Desperately Needed
JOHANNESBURG, November 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
"It may be difficult for people in the United States or Europe to believe this but in South Africa, there are millions of people who have never heard of breast cancer," states Noelene Kotschan, founder and CEO of PinkDrive.
Kotschan has travelled internationally as a speaker on breast cancer education and awareness strategies and how these can flourish as a support to state-funded health programmes in low-resource settings.
She is now calling for donations via their website to expand the work that PinkDrive is doing in South Africa.
PinkDrive is a charity partner to Bidvest, official sponsors of the Nedbank Golf Challenge which ends Sunday 2 December. Through their sponsorship they aim to raise awareness of the organisation, which educates and screens thousands of patients for breast cancer in South Africa annually.
They hope to raise 1 million Rand (Zar) over the upcoming weekend and have already received a substantial corporate donation from a roads company, the Bakwena N1/N4. It is hoped that more corporate donations will be offered. PinkDrive have pledged to use the funds raised to service the local province, which is not currently part of the territories that they reach.
There are stigmas and mistruths around breast cancer in South Africa, which allow the disease to propagate unattended in women who could otherwise receive treatment. Besides this, there is a blanket of ignorance surrounding the disease; it appears that women, and men, simply do not know about this silent killer.
PinkDrive intends to correct this through their educational strategies that include vehicles that traverse the country carrying health care workers who inform and educate at schools, in communities and near hospitals and clinics. While the workers educate, they also provide clinical examinations to the scores of women who wait in long queues.
PinkDrive is appealing to people across the world to donate via the payment portals on their website to help expand their education fleet. They are asking for a humble 1 Euro or 1 Dollar, stating that 'one-by-one will win the fight against this disease that requires education more than anything else'.
The PinkDrive website runs a counter that shows that over 40,000 women have been clinically examined and almost 50,000 have been educated in 3 years.
"We have been running with just three education vehicles and teams up to now, but we feel it is imperative to expand our reach, there is simply too much need in South Africa. That is why we are calling on everyone to donate."
The organisation also coaches health care workers at local clinics on breast examination so that clinical pickup of tumors by medical staff can increase.
"Around 1 in 8 of the women we see have breast cancer. Many of those cases are already in stage 2," concludes Kotschan. "It pains me to think that, if only for education, much of this suffering could be prevented."
PinkDrive is a non-profit 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. They currently have two mobile breast units, an education unit working in approximately 80 community health centers in Gauteng and a mammography unit, which operates at 3 community health centers in the Cape Town area, under the Tygerberg Hospital jurisdiction.
PinkDrive aims to provide affordable, convenient mammography services to women in the private and corporate sectors; and provide free scanning and education to disadvantaged communities via local clinics, community health centres and specified hospitals with no oncology facilities.
Issued by Phatic Communications
Issued on behalf of PinkDrive
Contact: Noelene Kotschan
Contact: Candice de Carvalho