Health took centre stage in Loeriesfontein during September, with a two-day health drive focused on screening, early detection and health education for eighty community members. Funded by Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in collaboration with the PinkDrive and the Department of Health, a full range of early detection and preventative health screening services were offered to the community.
Loeriesfontein resident and beneficiary of this health initiative, Belinda Farmer, is one of a number of community members to see the value in health screening and early detection, especially for cancer. She said, “I’m really pleased that the PinkDrive visited Loeriesfontein. Personally, it is very important to me to get tested, as cancer spreads very fast. The tests were done for free, so in my opinion, this is a very good initiative that Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms have funded. Prevention is better than cure”.
Almost 80 mammograms were provided for the women in this community, in addition to Clinical Breast Examinations, Ultrasounds, and Pap Smears. Men in the community were also encouraged to participate, with the screening for Prostate Screening Antigens (PSA), as an early detector of prostate cancer.
“We believe that through this initiative we have supported the community’s access to essential health screening, as part of our socio-Economic Development Programme, as access to such public healthcare services is very limited and cost prohibitive,” said Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farm.
The closest Northern Cape healthcare facility, that offers such services, is in Upington.This is approximately 500 km from Loeriesfontein, which makes it almost impossible, as well as very difficult for most community members to access, considering that the local ambulance and stay over at the Upington Hospital takes a minimum of two days.
“By providing early-screening and detection, education and awareness interventions, lives can potentially be saved and treatment can start early, if and when required,” added Fredericks.
Considering that one in 28 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, screening is an essential service.