Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Christopher C. Jones


Limited or lack of access to essential healthcare services affects the social and economic wellbeing of residents in most remote, neglected, and underserved rural communities of Sierra Leone. The ability of residents to embark on productive activities is directly connected to poor health conditions resulting in high mortality rates, increasing levels of poverty, and prevalence of disease and illness. The lived experience was explored of lack of access to essential healthcare services and resources for residents in the Bombali Sebora chiefdom of Sierra Leone. The theoretical framework guiding the research was the Levesque conceptual framework and model for healthcare access. The research questions involved how lack of access to essential healthcare services affects the wellbeing of the study population. A qualitative phenomenological approach was employed with a purposive sample of nine village residents. Nine participants from the two identified remote rural communities, Rotein and Rogboreh, were interviewed individually and face-to-face. Research findings confirmed that disparities in terms of access to essential healthcare services result from demographic and geographic differences between urban and rural communities. Therefore, future studies are recommended to investigate disparities in terms of allocation of healthcare resources between urban and rural communities. Health care decision-makers can create positive social change by adopting and using results of this research to provide appropriate healthcare services and resources that could increase access to essential services for people residing in places that are far away from urban centers, and hence improve the socioeconomic wellbeing and quality of life of rural residents of Sierra Leone.