Michael Soh


All over the world, several million women die each year, and 90% of them in developing countries from pregnancy and childbirth related causes (World Health Organisation Magazine on Women’s Health, 1995). Nearly all of these are preventable, yet in Cameroon, this is far-fetched. This study questions why women die from these causes? Is it due to government neglect, and/or women’s callous attitude toward pregnancy and/or the patriarchal control of women? Are healthcare facilities lacking or rudimentary, inadequately staffed, and/or expensive? This study argues that limited access to healthcare facilities drains women’s reproductive health down the spiral in Munyenge-Cameroon.

Via open-ended semi-structured interview guide questions data was solicited from 40 pregnant women between 15-45 years (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998). Interviews followed a topic guide and exploited interviewees’ different views focused on different themes to elicit reflective accounts which enabled respondents talked freely about highly personal issues which rekindled their memories on reproductive health problems due to limited access to healthcare facilities. All interviews were tape-recorded in ‘Pidgin English’ (a lingua franca) to eschew questions being misconstrued if asked in English, and this tremendously enhanced data reliability and validity. The data was transcribed into English to ease data interpretations, explanations, discussions and analyses. The findings provide a comprehensive picture of healthcare service mismanagement of facilities, men’s control of women due to socio-cultural tenets, financial vulnerability of women hence limit their access to health care facilities.

Note on the Author

Michael Soh, Dept. of Women & Gender Studies, Fac. of Soc & Mgt. Sc. University of Buea Cameroon