About Us

Our mission is to save lives and relieve human suffering.  We strengthen healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, providing better access to care and improving the quality of local health systems.

Our Strategy

Touch Foundation strengthens local health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. We apply a three-phase strategy for scaling solutions to the most pressing global health challenges.

Much of our work to date has focused on designing and implementing programs in the Lake Zone of Tanzania and demonstrating impact.  Successful solutions are then scaled up to a regional/national level​. Ultimately, we aim for our solutions to be adapted and replicated in other countries facing similar challenges to achieve broad, transformative impact.


Our Three-Phase Approach

Learn more about our strategy

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Touch Foundation, providing strategic guidance, and helping us create opportunities for growth. Their leadership is invaluable to our work.

LOWELL L. BRYAN President

KEVIN J. CURNIN

CLAUDIO BRAZ FERRO

CELIA FELSHER

Parisa Jaffer

Claudia Joyce

MBAGO KANIKI

STEVEN KELMAR

Dana Kirchman

ROBERT H. NIEHAUS

Michael Patsalos-Fox

Sean William Ryan

Ishaan Seth

CHARBEL TAGHER

TOM TELES

Fr. Dr. Peter Le Jacq, MM Volunteer

David Lowden Secretary

staff

Touch employs a team of highly skilled professionals who are committed to improving the health of the Tanzanian people. Our team brings a wide-range of expertise, with private and public sector backgrounds spanning from management consulting, clinical medicine, public health, and non-profit organizational management. Together, we address the multi-faceted challenges facing Tanzania’s health system.
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Kira Elbert Chief Development Officer

Noah Leff Chief Operating Officer

Massimiliano Pezzoli Chief Program Officer

careers

At Touch, you will join a team of highly mission-driven professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including management consulting, non-profit management, and clinical medicine. You will work closely with team members across all levels and functions, becoming an integral part of our commitment to strengthening the health system in Tanzania.

Touch Foundation, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, gender or gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.

Financials

Touch Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. A summary of our most recent financial statements is below. Audited financials and 990s are posted as they become available.

Touch has earned three-stars from Charity Navigator based on our efficient use of funds, commitment to transparency, and organizational accountability and a gold rating from GuideStar based on our fiscal transparency.

Frequently Asked Questions

1What is Touch Foundation?

Touch Foundation is an international 501(c)3 non-profit organization (TIN 20-1469976) dedicated to improving health and saving lives in Tanzania. For over a decade, we have been building Tanzania’s healthcare workforce, enhancing the quality of healthcare education, and improving access to care. We work holistically, strengthening the diverse building blocks of the health system – all of which need to be functional to enable effective delivery of care.

Learn more about our strategic priorities and approach.

2What is Touch’s Mission?

Our mission is to save lives and relieve human suffering.  We strengthen healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, providing better access to care and improving the quality of local health systems.

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News


Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 2 out of 3 global maternal deaths related to complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Our M-Mama program is changing that with its Emergency Transport System (EmTS)–an innovative solution that uses digital technology to triage a patient remotely 24/7 and dispatch an ambulance or community driver to bring the patient to a health facility, a process that takes an average of two minutes.

In July, members of Touch Foundation’s Board of Directors visited Usanda dispensary, a small rural health facility located within Tanzania’s Shinyanga region. They spoke directly to women who had experienced life-threatening complications during labor and needed the EmTS to reach quality care. We met their healthy children and also the taxi drivers who responded to the dispatcher’s call and transported them to safety.

Anna shared her experience during her prolonged labor. The healthcare workers at Usanda dispensary determined that Anna was facing an obstructed labor and would need an emergency C-section to save her life and her baby’s life. Through the EmTS, healthcare workers connected Anna with a community driver who transported her—by that point unconscious—to Shinyanga Hospital, where she immediately underwent surgery and delivered a healthy baby girl.

Agnes was similarly transported to Shinyanga Hospital for an emergency C-section due to a prolonged labor. When Agnes awoke from surgery, she was shocked to learn that she had been pregnant with twin boys! Such surprises are not uncommon when access to healthcare, like prenatal services and ultrasound scans, is limited.

The taxi drivers shared a different perspective and reinforced how the EmTS is a market-based solution. According to one driver, before the EmTS, taxi drivers were sometimes called for medical transport and at times, would not be able to negotiate a reasonable rate with the patient. But that has changed with the implementation of the EmTS. Now, pre-negotiated rates are paid directly to the drivers upon completion of their trips and at no cost to the patient. Trips are often long distances, and the average taxi rate is $45.

Today, M-Mama is up and running in all six districts of Tanzania’s Shinyanga region, providing life-saving emergency care to 90,000 pregnant and post-partum women and their newborns. Since inception, M-Mama has transported more than 8,500 women and newborns and in two years, this cost-effective program will be fully adopted by the Tanzanian Government. Furthermore, based on the demonstrated success of M-Mama, the government is interested in expanding the innovative program throughout the country. And, excitingly, we are also expanding M-Mama to Lesotho as part of a sub-Saharan Africa expansion plan with Vodafone Foundation.

A special thanks to Pathfinder International, an integral M-Mama partner, for organizing the meeting at Usanda dispensary.

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