8 August 2014
City residents and commuters boarding trains and taxis at Pretoria Station will now have access to free breast cancer screening, thanks to the opening of Hello Clinic at the station.
The clinic, a joint initiative of the government, Metropolitan Health, Pink Drive, Bidvest and Motion Pathology, was opened by Deputy Social Development Minister Hendrietta Mogopane-Zulu on Thursday.
Bogopane-Zulu said the opening of the clinic was not only about detecting cancer, but also about promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“When the mother passes on, it is us that must pick up the pieces,” Bogopane-Zulu said. “Our business is about strengthening families. We have a responsibility to assist families become strong and healthy so they can assist us in combating poverty.”
She said the Pink Drive truck, which was also launched on Thursday, would be used as a one-stop shop for conducting cervical cancer testing and HIV testing, as well as providing dignity packages to girl learners in rural areas.
She added that the department would be making funding available to ensure that Hello Clinic has dedicated sign language interpreters to strengthen its work.
First Lady Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, also speaking at Thursday’s opening, said women’s health should be at the centre of all government programmes.
“We can’t even begin to talk about development without women’s health featuring there,” Madiba-Zuma said. “Women should be healthy in order for them to play a meaningful role in the economic growth of our country.”
She added that the clinic reflected the power of public-private partnerships. “The clinic is a goal standard for innovative approaches towards improving women health.”
Deputy Health Minister Joseph Phaahla commended the work done by the Pink Drive. “We believe that any contribution towards alleviating the burden of cancer is highly appreciated. This is not a small effort and we are really grateful.”
Noelene Kotschan from Pink Drive said that, while cancer was a potential killer, so was ignorance. “Breast cancer is an enemy fighting us. Together we must fight it and we must win.”