Date of Conferral
Increased poverty and unemployment rates, minimal investment in social amenities, a shortage of healthcare professionals, poor infrastructure, inadequate social services, and poor institutional and political leadership have weakened the healthcare status of Cameroon's women who have reached the age of childbearing. The World Health Organization expressed increased urgency for healthcare providers and patients to develop new healthcare policies to eliminate health-related disparities. The aim of this phenomenological study was to examine the perceptions of women of childbearing age living in Mamfe rural community in regard to Cameroon's healthcare system and its impact on their lives. The theoretical foundation of the study was the healthcare utilization model. Interviews were conducted with 10 women participants, ages between 18 and 45. The data collected through semistructured interviews were analyzed using NVivo 11 and the Colaizzi 7-step processes to identify themes and subthemes. Study findings revealed systemic challenges that affected healthcare access which need to be adequately addressed to reduce maternal and child mortality among women of child-bearing age. The study findings could foster social change by improving the development of healthcare standards, as well as illustrating methods of increasing the level of access to healthcare services among women of childbearing age.