Date: 24/12/2018

Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports Honourable Alvick Maharaj has called on young people around the country to support the blood drive by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

Making the statement while donating blood in Nakasi over the weekend Hon. Maharaj said young Fijians should consider donating towards such noble cause.

“I am calling on young Fijians and encourage them to come forward and support this blood drive by donating blood,” said Hon. Maharaj.

An ardent blood donor, Hon. Maharaj is also a member of the Sai Prema Foundation Non-Government Organisation (NGO) founded to serve the poor and underprivileged people of Fiji through Medicare, Educare and Sociocare initiatives.

“I have been involved with the foundation visiting provinces like Tailevu, Naitasiri and Rewa assisting the needy and promoting physical and mental well-being among the underprivileged.” he adds. “This is one way of giving back to the community and for our young Fijians blood donation is a way of doing so.”

“We should understand that the blood drive by the Health Ministry is for our hospitals and the blood collected are used during treatment of accident victims and other areas in the medical service that need blood,” Hon. Maharaj continued. “Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person, the gift of life. It is a noble cause and a decision to donate your blood can save a life.”

Hon. Maharaj also said that upcoming visits to youth groups around the country may also include the ‘Blood Bus’ in the effort to encourage young Fijians to donate blood.

“Donating blood doesn’t just benefit recipients. There are health benefits for donors, too, on top of the benefits that come from helping others. It also reduces stress and improves your physical well-being and physical health.” the minister concluded.

A 2013 study found that regular blood donation significantly lowered the mean total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, protecting against cardiovascular disease.

This is consistent with findings in other studies which found that blood donors had a lower risk of heart disease and heart attack.