COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the screening and treatment of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/Aids and TB. While the lockdown bought some time to bolster health resources, it is also setting South Africa up for an even greater mortality rate from non-COVID illnesses. About 105,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in South Africa every year. It is estimated that due to lockdown a third of people are not reaching cancer screening services. If a third – or about 35,000 people – are not picked up through screening and referred for treatment, the cost of COVID-19 will be far greater than the number of people who die from it.

PinkDrive NPC, a significant player in the gender related cancer sector has joined forces with the National Department of Health (NDoH) and the National Department of Social Development (NDSD) to bring critical screening to the Northern Cape, where health care facilities are struggling to accommodate these additional screening services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vedanta Zinc International, Black Mountain Mining (Pty) Ltd, proudly sponsors the 5th annual PinkDrive outreach programme to the Namakwa District. The outreach will take place from 17 until 21 August 2020 in the communities of Okiep, Nababeep, Bergsig, Pella and Pofadder. The partnership with PinkDrive strengthens the commitment towards bringing healthcare services to the mining communities and the wider labour-sending areas. The past four years have demonstrated the impact and wide reach of the PinkDrive programme and reinforces VZI’s continuous commitment to accessible healthcare services. In 2019 the PinkDrive programme reached over 2000 people which included:
• 127 mammograms
• 13 referrals made
• 208 pap smears
• 195 clinical breast exams
• 282 prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests
• 564 girls and 842 boys tested at schools

The funding from Black Mountain Mining (Pty) Ltd will allow PinkDrive to take their Mobile Women’s Health Unit to provide screening and education for Gender Related Cancers such as breast, cervical and prostate cancer. It will also provide screening and testing for HIV/Aids, TB, diabetes and Covid-19 in collaboration with Civil Society Groups and the local Department of Health.
The PinkDrive campaign forms part of the Women’s Month programme which takes
place each year during the month of August. This year, Women’s Month is
commemorated under the theme: “Generation Equality: Realising Women’s
Rights for an Equal Future.”

The PinkDrive’s Mobile Women´s Health Unit in the form of a fourteen-ton truck is described as a Doctor´s Room on Wheels. The unit is a cancer powerhouse that boasts a state-of-the-art gynaecology area for pap smears and examinations, a reception area for administration and a radiology area.

The Department of Social Development is committed to strengthening families, empowering women and educating both men and women about cancer. This, in return, should help to prevent the spread of cancer and afford South Africans a chance to lead a healthy family life.

The PinkDrive’s unerring mission mirrors that of the NDoH to prolong lives through the prevention of illness, disease, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, and to consistently improve the health care delivery system by focusing on access, equity, efficiency, quality and sustainability.

For more information, please contact:

Noelene Kotschan
CEO and Founder
083 460 6146
Christo Witbooi
Head: Corporate Affairs & Stakeholder Relations
Vedanta Zinc International
079 949 4839