When actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy earlier this year to avoid the possibility of her getting breast cancer, her action raised the profile of this disease around the world. However, in South Africa, PinkDrive has been doing a stunning for many years in educating and raising awareness of this disease among our local population – and specifically in rural areas.
To do this, it has used a small fleets of tucks which has now been added to with a specially-equipped Hino 500-Series 1626 chassis cab fitted with a box body which has joined the fleet of vehicles operated by the PinkDrive charitable organisation for its fight against breast cancer in South Africa.
The box body is kitted out with specialised equipment for doing mammographic screening and is valued at approximately R10-million.
"This is our second mobile mammography unit while we also have a truck-mounted educational unit that traverses the country along with three educational cars," says Noelene Kotschan, founder and director of PinkDrive.
The mobile mammography units travel to semi-urban and urban areas with the objective of enabling various disadvantaged communities access to education, physical examination and how to do breast self-examination in the fight against cancer.
"We've already provided over 5 000 free mammograms, done over 54 000 clinical breast examinations, educated over 79 000 people and distributed over 90 000 items of educational material," says Kotschan.
The fact that Bidvest is a major sponsor of this project resulted in the group's McCarthy automotive retailer being called on to supply the vehicle. In the end, it was Hino Selby that undertook the project which included lengthening a long-wheelbase Hino 1626 chassis cab and coordinating the construction and fitment of the box body by Elite with MWS supplying specialised components.
The medical equipment is fitted in three portioned areas in the air conditioned body. The Hino tows a big generating set so that the unit is self-sufficient.
The handover of the unit took place in Johannesburg recently and was attended by First Lady Tobeka Madiba-Zuma, Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa and Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu as well as the MEC of Health for Gauteng, Hope Papo.