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Saving lives, supporting families

It's a small world after all

22nd December 2017 

An open letter to all our families from Tamba CEO Keith Reed

I’m starting to realise that this world we live in is in fact very small.

And that’s especially true when it comes to families with twins, triplets or more.  When you have them, you are far more tuned into spotting others. Multiples appear everywhere even though they only make up about 1.5% of pregnancies in the UK each year.

Because they are relatively few in number, we believe it is even more important to work with others to press their case and share resources. That’s why we take an active role in an umbrella organisation of similar charities from across the world that come together every two years under the remit of the International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations (ICOMBO)

Our new five year strategy emphasises the importance of working with others and I was recently elected as vice chairman of the group.  During our recent ICOMBO meeting in Madrid, together we pushed forward a number of international collaborations including:

- Agreeing to support the production of a policy white paper. This official document will outline the different challenges multiple births families face and the solutions Governments should consider.

- Confirming the top social and developmental issues our families face and research themes that should be considered.  ICOMBO is also looking at developing and launching an early researchers programme to help further promote and encourage scientists, clinicians and analysts to design and carry out research which will be beneficial to multiple birth babies and their families.

- Looking at an international school placement survey and report to identify what is happening in different countries and what the best approaches are.

- Producing a criteria for working with twin registries and twin researchers  based on the findings of a survey of parents and twins themselves to understand their reasons for taking part in twin research.  The result will be a set of criteria that clearly explains what families and twins want from the experience.  It should hopefully help to move us on from families and twins being subjects of research to being supported by the research itself.

We’re planning to use this as the theme of an International Multiple Birth Awareness Week next year, so please take part in the survey and support the campaign in the coming months and years. We’ll let you know how you can fill out the survey when it becomes available.

Finally, I’d like to say how much I’m looking forward to continuing to work with charities across the globe and flying the flag for the twins, triplets and more in the UK.

To all our families reading this, I wish you all the very best for the festive season. And let’s all look forward to 2018 and beyond – where our voices will be heard even louder and we’ll have more exciting news about how conditions are improving for twins, triplets and more.

Keith Reed


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