Congenital heart disease is a major killer in children under five years of age. For every 1000 newborn babies, 6-8 are born with a congenital heart disease. It is estimated that 2,500-3,000 children are born with a congenital heart disease every year in Sri Lanka. Most of them will need either surgical or catheter based treatment within the first year of their life. Unless treated in a timely manner some of them will not live to see their first birthday and a majority will die before they reach adulthood.
Treatment of heart diseases in children should be performed in highly specialised centres and currently only a very few government and private sector hospitals are equipped to perform such surgeries in Sri Lanka. Such a procedure generally costs approximately Rs. 400,000 - 700,000 in private sector but is done totally free of charge in government hospitals.