THE Fiji National Blood Service has urged people to give blood for patients who will undergo open heart surgery next month.
And with the World Heart Day being celebrated today, the Health Ministry has encouraged people to take the road to a healthy heart through a healthy diet and by increasing physical activity.
In a statement, the ministry said modern medicine was now able to help people who already have heart diseases.
From October 13 to 24, a cardiac team from India will be at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva to perform heart surgeries on patients.
"One thing the visiting team can't bring with them is the blood needed for open heart surgery, so we are calling on all healthy Fijians to have a heart and donate blood for these patients," said Fiji National Blood Service co-ordinator Josefa Bolaqace.
"The blood bank is already trying to increase blood stocks ahead of the cardiac team's visit but blood donors are always needed.
"It is great that we are now able to perform open heart surgery here in Fiji but we do need more people to become regular blood donors.
"These skilled surgeons can't do their work without the generous gift of donated blood."