Mumbai To improve neonatal care, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will add 280 ventilators in its hospitals by June.“Babies born prematurely often have underdeveloped lungs and have trouble breathing because of which they need ventilators. Around 15% of the prematurely born children require ventilator support,” said Dr Bhupendra Avasthi, founder of Surya Hospital, Santacruz. Dr Avinash Supe, director of municipal hospitals, said, there are 900 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, but only 450 of them have ventilators. “According to the policy, we should try and have a ventilator for each bed,” he said. Of the new beds, KEM hospital Parel, which sees the highest footfall, will get 40 beds, Supe added. Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital, Parel, which is run by a private medical trust, added 20 new ventilators on Tuesday, taking the total number to 70.The new ventilators will be available to children at subsidised rates, said Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, chief executive officer of Wadia Hospitals. “Despite having one of the largest neonatal intensive care unit facilities in the country, we cope with the challenges owing to lack of ventilators. We get sick babies from across Maharashtra, and many other states for critical care treatment,” she said.India records the maximum number of neonatal deaths in the world, a reason why NICU facilities need improvement, said doctors.“Around six lakh newborns die in India every year. In Maharashtra, the child mortality rate is nearly 24 per 1,000 births. Of them, two-thirds are premature born babies,” Dr Avasthi said.He said that mothers who become pregnant through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) had high chances of delivering preterm babies. “There are high chances of twins and triplets though IVF. It is noted that a mother bearing twins and triplets has is likely to deliver them prematurely,” he added.