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Components of a Successful Safe Motherhood Program - Possibility of Replication?

Reginald F. Gipson, MD, MPH, Healthy Mother/Healthy Child, John Snow, Inc., 21 Misr Helwan Agricultural Rd., 10th floor, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt, 011 202 359 1487, rgipson@jsiegypt.com, Christopher McDermott, MA, MHSA, Population and Health, Chief, USAID Egypt, Plot 1A off of El-Laselki Street, El Maadi, Cairo, Egypt, and Nahed Matta, MD, PH Division, USAID, Plot 1A off of el-Laselki Street El- Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.

Safe motherhood initiatives have been on the health care agenda for half a century or longer. Various initiatives were supported by international and domestic health agencies, but a roadblock for many years was the poor fit between maternal interventions and PHC. In successful cases, safe motherhood became an ongoing, integrated national program with measurable impact. Egypt’s successful safe motherhood experience may have important implications for the developing world. In Egypt, the Healthy Mother/Healthy Child project (collaboration between the Ministry of Health and USAID) began in 1998 to extend an innovative MCH program to nine Upper Egypt (UE) governorates, covering one-third of the country. Maternal and neonatal mortality in UE were significantly higher than in Lower Egypt. Maternal care includes basic maternal and essential obstetric care. Specific activities included: development of clinical protocols and standards of care and using them in competency based training; clinical supervision; upgrading of facilities and equipment; ensuring regular supplies, establishment of community linkages, management strengthening and information systems; micronutrients; quality assurance; and local and mass communication activities, and research. The project was implemented in UE where health, socioeconomic, and demographic indicators are significantly worse than in Lower Egypt. Nonetheless, between 1993 and 2003 Upper Egypt made rapid progress in maternal health. The EDHS results, as well as two national maternal mortality surveys, show greater gains in maternal care coverage and a greater decline in maternal mortality (1993 -2000) in UE than in Lower Egypt.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Women's Health, Maternal Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Safe Motherhood Strategies and Programs: Making a Difference

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA