Fewer Egyptian women die of maternal causes today than they did 10 or 15 years ago, due in large part to the national safe motherhood program. Nevertheless, maternal mortality is still relatively high, and the country faces challenges in reducing it further. Many of these challenges involve addressing the delays women face when they need essential obstetric care. In Egypt and other countries, most maternal deaths could be avoided if women had timely access to high-quality emergency obstetric services. Although Egypt’s level of maternal mortality is relatively high by international standards, recent evidence suggests that a woman’s lifetime risk of dying from maternal causes in Egypt has dropped dramatically. Egypt conducted two nationally representative studies less than 10 years apart on safe motherhood, a health issue for which there is generally a lack of reliable data. The studies’ findings provide insights into the programmatic elements associated with maternal survival. This Population Reference Bureau policy brief describes Egypt’s efforts to reduce maternal deaths—a process that offers lessons for other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the rest of the developing world.
Khalil, Karima and Farzaneh Roudi-Fahimi. 2004. "Making motherhood safer in Egypt," Middle East and North Africa Policy Brief. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.