About Us

Our mission is to save lives and relieve human suffering. We improve healthcare in Tanzania, addressing one of the world’s most significant humanitarian crises: the shortage of healthcare workers in sub-Saharan Africa.

We strengthen local health systems, and we encourage the adoption of our data-driven problem-solving model in the global health community.

A History of Impact

For over a decade, Touch Foundation has strengthened the health system in Tanzania, a nation facing a severe healthcare crisis.


Timeline of Touch Foundation's overall focus areas since inception

Learn More about our history

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.
Learn More About our Staff

Kira Elbert Chief Development Officer

Steve Justus Chief Medical 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 improve healthcare in Tanzania, addressing one of the world’s most significant humanitarian crises: the shortage of healthcare workers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We strengthen local health systems, and we encourage the adoption of our data-driven problem-solving model in the global health community.

Discover more questions

News


“When you say that you’re an engineer some people say ‘really?’ or they look at how you look physically and say ‘can you really be an engineer?’”

Those are words from Nziza Pachal Rufutu, a 28-year-old woman working as a biomedical engineering equipment technician at Bugando Medical Centre (Bugando) in Mwanza, Tanzania. She is responsible for installing medical equipment and performing preventive maintenance and repairs at one of the largest and most specialized hospitals in the country. Nziza’s role is critical in ensuring equipment is functioning properly so that the hospital can provide quality healthcare services.

From a young age, Nziza excelled in science classes. After finishing her A-levels (similar to the Advanced Placement programs in the US), Nziza considered a career in engineering. Her brother, who was at University studying to become an engineer himself, introduced her to the field of biomedical engineering. She realized that this field would allow her to link her interests in biology and medicine with engineering principles to help others.

Upon graduating, Nziza applied for a job at Bugando and has worked there since 2016. Nziza oversees the engineering side of the sterilization department at Bugando and, together with other engineers, works closely with the operating theatres to ensure that all equipment is in good working condition for surgeries. She explained that “Engineers provide oxygen and other medical equipment services in operating theaters. If the equipment performance is poor, then the doctors and other medical personnel can’t provide good healthcare services to the patients.”

One of her primary challenges working in the male-dominated field of engineering is others’ perceptions of herself and her capabilities. “They may undergrade you and think you can’t do more like men do. So maybe there are some tasks that you are not sent to do because they think you cannot do it.” Reflecting on this issue, Nziza added “they just don’t understand that it’s only a matter of hard work and having knowledge and skills, a committed mind, and a desire to learn more.”

Nziza embodies these attributes, and has been committed to improving Bugando since she first joined the hospital. For example, she worked with the engineering department and the Touch team to provide guidance on the equipment needed to enhance cardiology services at the hospital. After this initial project with Touch, Nziza became a member of Touch’s Healthcare Technology Management Improvement team in May.

Through the Healthcare Technology Management program, Nziza has taken on the role of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Champion at Bugando. If measured on a regular basis, KPIs can help engineers understand when large machines are not functioning as intended. In her role as a KPI Champion, Nziza connects with her colleagues stationed at Bugando’s large machines (i.e. Oxygen Plants, Generator, Incinerator), and monitors the KPIs for each machine. This allows her to respond immediately to any issues, before equipment downtime can affect the quality of care at the hospital.

According to Nziza, “the Healthcare Technology Management program has improved the skills of the engineers as well as working facilities, and other people in the hospital have begun to see the importance of the engineering department and that we are critical to the hospital functioning well. They see that when equipment is improved, people are provided with better services.”

Moving forward, Nziza wants to focus on skills training for the engineering department as well as equipment training for all healthcare workers at the hospital. She is proud to be a leader in our Healthcare Technology Management program and work together with other biomedical engineers to provide better healthcare services day-to-day to Bugando’s patients. After all, the hospital can’t function without equipment that is well maintained.

Discover more news