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Taking package of integrated sexual and reproductive health and HIV information and services to marginalised communities through mobile health units

UNFPA joined the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms. Hendrietta Bogopane Zulu, on a week long Outreach Programme in KwaZulu Natal. The programme started in Madadeni, Newcastle on 14 September 2020 and concluded in Pietermaritzburg City Hall, Msunduzi Local Municipality on 18 September 2020. UNFPA partnered with the Deputy Minister of Social Development, the Provincial DSD and DOH to take a package of integrated sexual and reproductive health and HIV information and services to marginalised communities through the Pink Drive, an organisation active in the gender related cancer sector.

Funding from UNFPA enabled the Pink Drive take their Mobile Women’s Health unit to provide screening and education for gender related cancers including breast, cervical and prostate cancer as well as HIV/Aids, TB, Diabetic Screening and Covid-19 screening and testing, in
collaboration civil society groups and the provincial Department of Health in the communities of covering Ethekweni, Umgungundlovu, iLembe, Ugu and Uthukela districts in KwaZulu Natal. 

The communities benefitted from breast cancer and cervical cancer screening and testing, prostate cancer screening, covid screening and testing, child immunisation, HAST, TB screening and testing and contraceptive provision. In addition young people were sensitised on the YOLO programme which focuses on HIV and Substance Abuse. 

Within the constraints and protocols of COVID-19, the Outreach Programme with its package of services and information was well received by the District Mayors, Traditional Leadership and community members. Other vital services were provided by Home Affairs, the South African Social Security Agency and the National Development Agency.

The Deputy Minister alluded to the mandate of the department in relation to prevention and early detection of cancer and she emphasised that cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer are intimate cancers, which need to be deteced early and adressed on time. 

UNFPA Programme Officer, Ms. Linda Naidoo, echoed the Deputy Minister's sentiments, especially in partnering with the South African government in working towards the four transformation areas of ending unmet need for family planning, of ending gender-based violence and harmful practises, of ending maternal deaths and of ending HIV, in an attempt to leave no one behind as we, collectively, move towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.