ISA’s mission is to raise awareness and promote global collaboration for the prevention of stillbirth and newborn death and provision of appropriate respectful care for all those affected.
There are an estimated 2 million stillbirths each year, of which about half occur during labor and delivery and half occur in the antepartum period. Most stillbirths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and in remote and rural areas. Stillbirth is also more common within marginalized populations in all countries. The burden of stillbirth includes both the tragedy of preventable death and the bereavement and other effects of stillbirth that occur after the death. These include grief, trauma, stigma, and economic and financial challenges felt by parents, other family members, and also health workers who provide care to these families. These effects are exacerbated by poor quality or non-existent bereavement support.
To date, there has been more global focus and progress on ending newborn death than on ending stillbirth. Despite the heavy mortality burden, stillbirth was absent from the Millennium Development Goals and is still missing in the Sustainable Development Goals. Stillbirth remains largely invisible in global, regional, and national policies and programs, underfinanced and in urgent need of attention. However, ISA recognizes that stillbirth lies on a continuum of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Many of the interventions to prevent newborn death can also reduce stillbirth. Many of the approaches to respectful bereavement care after stillbirth may also be relevant for care after newborn death. In many cases, there is a misclassification between stillbirth and newborn death. For all these reasons, global action for stillbirth prevention and support naturally overlaps with newborn death prevention and support.
ISA’s current strategic plan covers the period 2021 to 2025 and includes five goals for mission achievement. The board is responsible for leading ISA’s work in accordance with the plan and the three working groups contribute by focusing on the areas of bereavement, prevention, and advocacy.
Goal 1: Global
By 2025, ISA will be a leader in the global movement to end preventable stillbirths, and newborn deaths and provide respectful care.
Goal 2: Countries
By 2025, ISA will have significantly contributed to ending preventable stillbirths and newborn deaths and providing respectful care in 3-5 target countries.
Goal 3: Data, Policy, Practice
By 2025, ISA will have significantly increased the translation of evidence into policy and practice through the generation, adaptation, and dissemination of our own and our partners’ data, tools, and programs.
Goal 4: Stakeholders
By 2025, ISA will have significantly increased the integration, voice, and impact of key stakeholder groups within global and country-level action.
Goal 5: Sustainability
By 2025, ISA will have harnessed our passion, finances, management, and membership to increase our organizational sustainability.