Access issues: Transportation Challenges and healthcare delivery in rural settings

The aim of the work in this paper is to present the results from a study of how the quality of life in remote locations and rural settings of Bayelsa State, Nigeria can be enhanced through improvement in healthcare accessibility. The methodology comprised desktop study, questionnaire survey, participant observations and interviews. A survey comprising 2,000 distributed questionnaires was conducted between July 2016 and July 2017 within seven selected states in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. A total of 1,800 questionnaires were completed and returned. Informal interviews were conducted with respondents from the public and health sectors within Bayelsa State; the focus state for the study. Data from most of the respondents revealed that physical barriers such as nature of terrain and transportation significantly influenced health services accessibility. Further analysis of the data revealed that lapses in the health policies and lack of initiatives were paramount drivers to the challenges around accessibility. Based on these findings a guide was developed to aid improvement on access to healthcare services. The guide provides recommendations for development of better transportation mechanisms that will resolve the long-standing logistics challenges that have impacted the healthcare needs of the rural population. Government action or involvement is a key influence on the actual outcomes from execution of the guide