Saving Mothers Club Joins Campus Community


The Saving Mothers Club joins the growing list of social activist student-run organizations at Fordham. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Paola Galiano, Contributing Writer

In the United States, about 700 women die each year as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. This number only gets higher when describing minority or low-income mothers in areas where resources like necessary healthcare do not reach them. 

Where 500,000 women die each year due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth, almost 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries. According to UNICEF’s Chief of Health Peter Salama, “The causes of maternal mortality are clear — as are the means to combat them. Yet women continue to die unnecessarily.” Because of the lack of healthcare, awareness and funds, women continue to die each year from preventable causes. 

At Fordham University, a few students have taken it upon themselves to get involved in preventing pregnancy-related deaths. Saving Mothers is a new club that will be joining Fordham’s Rose Hill campus. The group is part of a nationwide organization that assists minority and low-income mothers in gaining access to the healthcare they need to survive. 

The influence of Saving Mothers at Fordham University will be seen close to home in the Bronx community. Sarah Abdelaziz, FCRH ’24, is the president of this club. When asked about her motivation in bringing Saving Mothers to Fordham University, Abdelaziz said she was passionate about the “reigning systemic issues within the healthcare system and how deeply [they] impacted underprivileged communities.” Noticing that, beyond the gates of theuniversity, there is an entire community that some don’t even acknowledge, she researched the systemic issues in healthcare concerning underprivileged communities. 

Abdelaziz did not have to look further than the Bronx community, which has “the highest rate of maternal and infant mortality rates in the entire country.” Abdelaziz’s previous volunteer work and passion for women’s healthcare allowed her to “fall in love” with Saving Mothers’ mission. As a club, Abdelaziz hopes that Saving Mothers will take part in its parent organization’s “communal and global initiatives” to “create real change in the status of women’s health.” 

This chapter would remind pre-health students at Fordham that “there is more to healthcare than STEM classes and research,” said Abdelaziz. Saving Mothers is a real reminder that so much more goes on beyond the gates of the university besides classes and research and lines on resumes, she said. 

“While courses that determine if we get into medical school will determine our careers, the basic human right of attainable healthcare will determine if a mother survives the birth of her child,” said Abdelaziz. 

In creating a new chapter of Saving Mothers, Abdelaziz said she hopes that students at Fordham will also recognize the “unjust nature of healthcare all over the world” and do something about it. The club’s effects on campus include educating students and faculty alike about the dangers of these problems in the system and beyond Fordham, she said. 

Because of underprivileged mothers and pregnant women in need of reproductive health care services, all the money raised by Fordham’s chapter of Saving Mothers will go directly to the parent Saving Mothers organization, which directly aids communities, said Abdelaziz. Both in the United States and globally, these contributions include grocery, diaper and formula deliveries, COVID-19 kits and other essential items that will be sent to women who have been “financially exacerbated by the pandemic” and those who are struggling to get by, she said. 

In addition to these services, Saving Mothers’ dedication to improving maternal health worldwide is seen in the form of providing direct medical care in countries like Guatemala, Kenya, the Dominican Republic and the United States. 

Both the parent organization Saving Mothers and Sarah Abdelaziz’s new chapter at Fordham Rose Hill will work to see lasting change in the healthcare system — both in the Bronx community and worldwide. Built on a mission dedicated to improving maternal health worldwide, Abdelaziz said Saving Mothers will use the resources of a prestigious university like Fordham and give back to a community that is often taken for granted.