During this episode of The Glimmer Podcast, Dr Ashleigh Smith (founder of The Glimmer Project and 3 week online Glimmer program for women who have experienced stillbirth or neonatal loss) interviews Claire Storey - a board member for the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA).
The ISA exists to promote global collaboration in the prevention and provision of appropriate care for families after stillbirth and neonatal death. It aspires to achieve this through public awareness initiatives, community engagement, development and promotion of best clinical practice standards and facilitating high quality collaborative research.
Claire discusses her personal experience of baby loss and becoming a UK SANDS Chairperson (stillbirth and neonatal death society), attending ISA conferences and eventual involvement with the ISA as board member. She explains the integration of stillbirth into the UN Millennial development goals and ending preventable stillbirth scorecard. She discusses the triple return on investment when health is prioritized for the woman/mother. She explains raising the parent voices initiative, advocacy and work in India and Ghana.
Discussion moves to the ‘Ending Preventable Stillbirths’ series and the estimated annual 2.6 million stillbirths. According to the data, 98% of stillbirths occur in low- and middle-income countries and therefore the ISA has turned it’s attention to addressing this devastating figure. Claire explains various funding models, recruiting and managing volunteers, sponsoring parents to attend conferences (especially from low and middle income countries) and the need for translators when working within an international organization.
Claire explains the integration of reducing neonatal death into the ISA mission and how this goes hand-in-hand with stillbirth interventions. Finally, Dr Ashleigh Smith asks Claire how people can be involved and contribute to the goals of the ISA. Claire lists a multitude of options including donation, spreading and sharing the social media posts and organizations initiatives, offering expertize such as legal, IT, HR, communications etc, joining a working group and applying to the Board.
This interview gives hope to the millions of families affected by baby loss every year. The ISA is an incredible organization working to make this world a better place.