A surgical team from New Zealand is preparing to travel to Fiji this week to repair the damaged hearts of 20 babies and children.
Cardiac surgeon Dr Kirsten Finucane from Auckland's Starship hospital will head the team of 30 nurses and doctors who will operate alongside local staff to improve the lives of the children.
She said some children were born with heart defects that could be surgically repaired and completely cured adding that others with hearts damaged by rheumatic fever had more complex issues and were harder to help with surgery alone.
She said it was important to triage the children who would receive the most benefit from the surgery and follow up from previous years' work is also part of the programme.
Dr Finucane said the team's intervention that is supported by the Friends of Fiji, the Heart Foundation and the Hearts for Kids charities has saved a lot of lives and had a huge impact.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.