North West villages welcome cancer screening programme

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Hundreds of people in the remote villages of the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality in the North West have welcomed a community outreach programme for cancer screening.

Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), PinkDrive, reached its target of people that can be screened daily within the first four hours.

Residents of Moshana and nearby villages, near Zeerust, did not want to miss an opportunity to know their cancer status. The NGO PinkDrive brought various important health services closer to them free of charge.

Screening was also done for breast and cervical cancer among other diseases.

PinkDrive founder Noelene Kotschan says people were extra-ordinarily keen to test for various types of cancers.

“We started at 8’o clock this (Monday) morning and by 12’o clock on each one of the trucks we had reached our limit. So, that’s 50 mammograms done. Our daily limit to do pap smears, 50 a day that we have cut off at 11’o clock already. The same goes for the PSA screenings for the men.”

Residents, who were screened, expressed gratitude for the initiative. “It feels good that I got screened because now I know where I stand with cancer.”

The Department of Social Development is a partner in the Pinkdrive initiative.  Deputy Minister Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu says her department will ensure that those diagnosed with cancer receive the necessary treatment.

“We make sure as the department that we do cover the costs. If not, we make sure that the Department of Health, through patient transport does, but also we make sure that PinkDrive ensures that those patients are not lost into the system; that they never fall into the cracks without getting help. So when you need help and when we detect a particular stage of cancer, you get help instantly.”

The five-day initiative will be extended to other villages in the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality.