Over 2.5k babies born with heart ailments in Colombo annually

Over 2.5k babies born with heart ailments in Colombo annually

COLOMBO - The Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children (LRH) on Monday said that approximately 2,500 children were born in the Colombo hospital with heart diseases annually.

LRH director Dr. Hewage said that up to 2,000 of the infants needed open heart surgery immediately after birth, while the rest were those who could afford to be on the waiting list. Of these, the hospital director said, some were able to lead normal lives without surgery while the others would require surgery later in life.

Hewage said that the children were treated based on the severity of their conditions, however the it was common for the waiting list to be "interrupted" by emergency surgeries.

He added that most of the children would be provided monetary support from the President's Fund, which would cover the cost of the implants they required such as a valve conduit to treat congenital heart valve defects, which typically costs less than 200,000 Sri Lanka rupees (S$1,923). Depending on the cases, the hospital would sometimes bear the cost of surgery, he said.

Hewage said that several organisations also support parents of infants born with heart defects who are not able to afford surgery.

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