More than 550,000 women die yearly from pregnancy-related causes. Fifty percent (50%) of the world estimate of maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa alone. There is insufficient information on the risk factors of maternal mortality in Cameroon. This study aimed at establishing causes and risk factors of maternal mortality. This was a case-control study from 1st January, 2006 to 31st December, 2010 after National Ethical Committee Approval. Cases were maternal deaths; controls were women who delivered normally. Maternal deaths were obtained from the delivery room registers and in-patient registers. Controls for each case were two normal deliveries following identified maternal deaths on the same day. Variables considered were socio-demographic and reproductive health characteristics. Epi Info 3.5.1 was used for analysis. The mean MMR was 287.5/100,000 live births. Causes of deaths were: postpartum hemorrhage (229.2%), unsafe abortion (25%), ectopic pregnancy (12.5%), hypertension in pregnancy (8.3%), malaria (8.3%), anemia (8.3%), heart disease (4.2%), and pneumonia (4.2%), and placenta praevia (4.2%). Ages ranged from 18 to 41 years, with a mean of 27.7 ± 5.14 years. Lack of antenatal care was a risk factor for maternal death (OR=78.33; CI: (8.66- 1802.51)). The mean MMR from 2006 to 2010 was 287.5/100,000 live births. Most of the causes of maternal deaths were preventable. Lack of antenatal care was a risk factor for maternal mortality. Key words: Maternal mortality, causes, risk factors, Cameroon.
Keywords: Cameroon; Pregnancy; Yaoundé; causes; maternal death; risk factors.