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Dr. Krishnakumar R., Head of Department, Paediatric Cardiology, Amrita School of Medicine, Kochi, said India had a huge burden with around 2-2.5 lakh babies born annually suffering from congenital heart defects. Around 80,000 have serious complications but though most of them only require a single corrective surgery to live a normal life, they often have no access to them, he told mediapersons. Hospitals also lack technical and human resources to deal with the scale of the burden. “It is only after the mortality rates fell that Kerala began looking at CHDs. We are now operating on pre-term babies but the challenges are huge,” he said.

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