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200 children born with CHD every year

February 12, 2021 10:19 am

Twice as many children have died from Congenital Heart Disease than all childhood cancers combined.

Since its launch in 2016, Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre has organized 73 surgeries for children with Congenital Heart Disease.

Director of the Medical Centre, Dr Krupali Tappoo, says 200 children are born every year with CHD in Fiji.

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“About 20% could genetic or chromosomal abnormalities but the rest of the 80%. We don’t largely know the cause but there are some risk factors or some links like maternal smoking so if the mom is smoking in her pregnancy also if she is on certain medications.”

Tappoo says symptoms of CHD in children include shortness of breath, fast breathing, and swelling around the eyes, abdomen or legs and in some cases a bluish tinge on the face and lips.

Since the opening of the medical centre 1, 800 babies and children have been screened.

10% of the 1, 800 were diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease and five percent with Congenital Heart Disease.

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