The (un)safe motherhood still present all over the world. Two surveys of maternal mortality conducted in Egypt, in 1992–93 and in 2000, addressed the problem. The medical causes of death and avoidable factors were determined. Results showed that the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) had dropped by 52% within that period (from 174 to 84/100 000 live births). Consideration of the intermediate and outcome indicators suggests that the greatest effect of maternal health interventions was on the death-related avoidable factors "substandard care by health providers" and "delays in recognizing problems or seeking medical care". The enormous improvements in these areas are certainly due in part to extensive training, revised curricula, the publication of medical protocols and services standards, the upgrading of facilities, and successful community outreach programmes and media campaigns. Although the number of maternal deaths linked to hemorrhage has been drastically reduced, it remains the primary cause.
The drop in maternal mortality in the 1990s in response to Safe Motherhood programmes was impressive and the ability to tailor interventions based on the data from the NMMS of 1992–93 and 2000 was clearly demonstrated. At the local community level cooperation between different heath sectors is the only way for further reduction of maternal mortality.
Keywords: Maternal mortality; Cause of death; Risk factors; Prenatal care; Maternal health services; Egypt; cooperation, health sectors.