Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-21-2018


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name





School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Rick Zoucha

Committee Member

Khlood Faik Salman

Committee Member

Ngo Likeng Julienne Louise


Rural communities, Access to health care, Women, Cameroon.


Women in rural Cameroon do not access health care as timeously and as often as they should. They fail to get screened for common diseases, with the consequence that such diseases are often diagnosed at a very advanced stage. This accounts for the high morbidity and mortality rates as well as low life expectancy recorded among women. The purpose of this study was to explore and understand the health access experiences of women in rural Cameroon. Methodology: Participatory action research was used guided by a Focused ethnography in phase one. Twenty-five women aged 21-77 years were recruited through local the administrative leaders to participate after giving their consent. Focus group discussions were organized to explore and understand the experiences of the women. Collected data was analyzed using Leininger’s four phases of qualitative data analysis assisted by NVivo 12 data analysis software. The study was conducted in the Eloumndem-village, a suburb of Yaounde, Cameroon. Findings: Four major themes were identified, namely that women: (1) execute and promote folk practices because they cannot access healthcare services; (2) live in abject poverty which prevents them from accessing health care; (3) have no voice and/or power in their community which acts as a barrier to health care; and (4) desire to be better informed on how to care for themselves. Discussion: Findings revealed the need to educate women in order to improve their social status and give them a voice in their community. There is need for policy makers to increase health spending for communities in rural Cameroon in order to subsidize health care cost for women and possibly improve access.



Available for download on Monday, December 21, 2020