Fatoumata Jaiteh ’19 Transforms Passion to Progress

Fatoumata Jaiteh ’19 teared up remembering a trip to her family’s home country where she saw mothers and babies die from preventable conditions. She resolved to improve maternity care for these vulnerable families in The Gambia to give them a healthy start.

Jaiteh’s professors at St. Thomas challenged her to think about how biology could be a part of the solution to the health care disparities facing these mothers. She was inspired to create a nonprofit, From Mother to You. The Minnesota-based nonprofit aims to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rates by empowering Gambian women with prenatal and postnatal resources and education.

Jaiteh’s two-pronged approach included creating a step-by-step guide for mothers to reference if their baby stops breathing, as well as distributing critical supplies, such as diapers, wipes and cleaning materials. The resources her nonprofit provides are lifesaving.

It’s no surprise that St. Thomas community selected Jaiteh, a biology of global health major, as one of three finalists for the Tommie award for her scholarship, leadership and campus involvement. Today, this Tommie continues her advocacy to reduce global health care inequities for women.

Learn more about the Biology of Global Health at St. Thomas and all undergraduate programs offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.