The Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district has said that 290 children died at the facility in August alone, PTI reported on Monday. Principal PK Singh said there had been 1,250 deaths since January at the hospital.
Of the 290 deaths, 213 children had died in the neonatal intensive care unit, and 77 had died in the encephalitis ward. Singh said children suffering from jaundice, infectious diseases, encephalitis and ailments arising from premature delivery, as well as those who were under weight, were being admitted to the hospital at a very serious stage.
“A lot many lives can be saved if patients are brought here earlier,” Singh told PTI.
The number of casualties is the highest in August so far, but it is not unusual as mortality levels rise in the monsoon.
On August 12, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh had said that 587 children had died at BRD Medical College and Hospital in August 2016 – higher than 567 in 2014 but lower than 668 in 2015.
On Tuesday, it was reported that 61 children had died at the hospital between August 26 and 28. The news came on the heels of reports that 63 children had died at the facility between August 7 and August 11 allegedly because of lack of oxygen supply. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had claimed that the children had died of encephalitis, but the health minister had denied this.