Twenty-three Tibetan children with congenital heart disease began receiving free surgeries on Friday in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.
The operations are part of a charity program launched by the China Charity Federation early in 2012. Under the program, a total of 181 children from the Tibet autonomous region, will be given free surgeries at the General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command of the People's Liberation Army.
"After the operations, they will be as healthy as other children," said Zhang Weida, director of the hospital's cardiothoracic surgery department, adding congenital heart disease can be fatal if untreated.
Zhang and other doctors from the hospital have periodically traveled to the remote counties of Nagqu, Baingoin, Nyima and Nyingchi in the Tibet autonomous region since June 2012 to give free medical checks to more than 16,000 children.
In addition to the 23 children, another group of 16 with the disease will come to Guangzhou for free surgeries on March 26, according to the hospital.