‘Serious congenital defects in 30 pc of babies’ | Daily News

‘Serious congenital defects in 30 pc of babies’

Annually 5,800 babies are born with birth defects in Sri Lanka, Consultant Community Physician at the Health Ministry’s Family Health Bureau and Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) Secretary Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said.

Of the 5,800 with congenital defects, 650 die before their first birthday, while 200 suffer throughout their life, he said.

Speaking at a press conference at the SLMA auditorium in Colombo yesterday, he said 30 percent of babies are born with serious birth defects and cannot lead a normal life. Around 24 percent of birth defects are related to the heart.

According to Dr. Jayaratne, there are around 360,000 pregnancies annually in Sri Lanka, 99 percent of which are registered and receive due facilities and treatment. Around 326,000 live births take place in Sri Lanka annually.

The number of abortions in Sri Lanka each year is around 48,000. Birth defects can be detected from the 18th to 20th week of pregnancy. Annually around 1,900 still births take place, he said.


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