Children in India die every day due to childhood diseases and malnutrition. According to UNICEF, more than two million children die every year from vaccine-preventable infections, and close to half of all childhood deaths in India are attributed to malnutrition. UNICEF also reports that one in three of the world’s malnourished children live in India – where malnutrition is more common than in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Yesupadam, the hospital’s founder, was almost counted as one of India’s tragic childhood deaths due to malnutrition. Growing up in a poor family with scarcely enough food to eat, Yesupadam collapsed on his way to school one day when he was around ten years old. Malnutrition had taken its toll on his body, and he might have died that day if it wasn’t for the kindness of a Christian missionary who found Yesupadam on the side of the road and rushed him to a local hospital to be nursed back to health.
By providing children from poor families with care and proper nutrition, Bethany Christian Hospital will strive to ensure that children in Yesupadam’s position will never have to come so close to death. Bethany will also provide children with immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases to put an end to the needless deaths among the poor of India’s children.