Azerbaijan may have the mega-energy revenues needed to build roads and to refashion its military, but when it comes to regional healthcare, the country's attention appears to be focused elsewhere.
Like many rural Azerbaijanis, Intigam Mammadov, a resident of Imamgulubayli village in southern Azerbaijan's Agdam district, feels shortchanged by the situation. The lack of a well-quipped local hospital cost his father his life in 2006, Mammadov believes, adding that his father was a long-time sufferer from bronchial asthma. "The closest hospital is situated . . . four to five kilometers away from our village," he recounted to EurasiaNet. "But this hospital has neither suitable conditions nor educated doctors. Since the quality of medical service is not satisfactory, there are very few people who go there," he said.
Instead, twice a year, Mammadov's father traveled seven hours to Baku to receive the treatment his condition required. A few weeks after his last trip, though, his health became steadily worse. "I thought I would take him to Baku in the morning. But he passed away at dawn," Mammadov said.
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Elkhan Salahov is a freelance reporter based in Baku.