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Deathtrap Highway

Hundreds of people die annually on the Bishkek-Osh highway, the main artery connecting the north and south of Kyrgyzstan.
The road is dangerous in places, and often hit by treacherous weather conditions such as fog and ice at this time of year. But as Almaz Turdubaev’s report reveals, doctors attribute the high death rate to the lack of ambulance services.

Even though the highway is the country’s most important traffic route, ambulances and emergency clinics are few and far between. Doctors say many people die needlessly from injuries simply because they have to wait for hours before health arrives.

It is common for other drivers not to stop at an accident site, in part because they feel they can do nothing useful to help the injured.

Transport and health ministry officials blame each other’s institutions for failing to set up proper emergency services.

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