9/8/11 (AEIN) A group of more than twenty children from Tibet with congenital heart disease have traveled to China's capitol city Beijing for free medical treatment at a government hospital. The children arrived on a train, which took over forty hours to reach Beijing from the train station in Lhasa, according to Chinese state radio.
The free treatment program for children and teenagers with congenital heart disease remains open; additional youngsters will have the opportunity to receive treatment if they qualify. This disease proves common in mountainous parts of western China. The Chinese government has taken a number of steps in recent years to improve access to medical treatment for the poor and people in rural areas.
Congenital heart disease caused approximately 4,700 people to die in the United States during the year 1997, according to the American Heart Association. Unlike most forms of heart disease, individuals with congenital (inborn) heart disease have no opportunity to prevent it. Other forms of the disease cause many more deaths.