About Us

mission

Touch combines the best of private and public sector approaches and expertise to improve the health of Tanzanians by strengthening the health system. Touch expands its impact by sharing acquired knowledge with the local and international public health community.

We focus our activities on two key elements of the health system:

  • Improving the quantity and quality of healthcare workers
  • Enhancing healthcare delivery

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

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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

Claudia Joyce

MBAGO KANIKI

STEVEN KELMAR

ROBERT H. NIEHAUS

Michael Patsalos-Fox

SALIM RAMJI

Ishaan Seth

MARCO SPINELLI

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 Director of Development

Steve Justus Chief Medical Officer

Noah Leff Chief Financial Officer

Massimiliano Pezzoli Country Director

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 four-stars from Charity Navigator, its highest rating, 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?

Touch combines the best of private and public sector approaches and expertise to improve the health of Tanzanians by strengthening the health system. Touch expands its impact by sharing acquired knowledge with the local and international public health community.

We focus our activities on two key elements of the health system:

  • Improving the quantity and quality of healthcare workers
  • Enhancing healthcare delivery
Discover more questions

News

HOW ONE BURUNDIAN DOCTOR BECAME THE ONLY OBGYN IN SENGEREMA, TANZANIA


Dr. Harusha Simplice is the only obstetrician-gynecologist at Sengerema Designated District Hospital, serving over 700,000 people. After becoming a general practitioner Dr. Harusha secured his specialist training through Touch’s Treat & Train program, which improves medical education and patient care in the Lake Zone.

A Burundian refugee forced to flee to Tanzania as a teenager, Dr. Harusha Simplice always knew he wanted to be a physician. According to his mother, at the ripe age of two he used to comfort his friends and family by reassuring them that one day he would be a doctor. His father also wanted to be a doctor, but he was never able to practice as he died in an accident two months after graduating from medical school. When Dr. Harusha was in his final year of schooling his mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died just a year later. It was his mother’s death that cemented his desire to help women and strive to one day become an obstetrician-gynecologist.

After graduating, Dr. Harusha began practicing medicine at Sengerema Designated District Hospital. Five years later, Dr. Harusha, now a father of two boys with another one on the way, decided he needed to find a way to receive specialized training to become an obstetrician-gynecologist and pursue his aspiration of helping women. At this point Dr. Harusha encountered Touch Foundation, just as we were in the process of expanding our Treat & Train program to Sengerema Designated District Hospital. Through Dr. Harusha’s perseverance and partnership with Touch, he was able to receive the education required to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Today, Dr. Harusha is the only trained OBGYN at Sengerema Designated District Hospital. This 300-bed hospital serves over 700,000 people and delivers about 25-30 babies per day. For Dr. Harusha, it is not uncommon to attend to multiple women giving birth in the same room with the help of just two nurses. In fact, in Tanzania the shortage of healthcare workers is a main contributor to the high maternal death rate.

In early October, Dr. Harusha completed a training held by our partner MeduProf-S on SonoSite ultrasound machines in order to perform heart disease and obstetric ultrasound screenings during maternity checkups. For all of the clinicians present at the training, this was their first experience with an ultrasound machine. In the United States, women usually receive an initial screening at the beginning of their pregnancies to confirm a viable pregnancy. Most women in the United States will receive numerous ultrasounds throughout a pregnancy, and at least 1 anatomy screening at 20 weeks to ensure healthy development. Most Tanzanian women have never received an ultrasound screening during their pregnancy, but this is changing as women are increasingly requesting them and the technology is becoming more widely available. Dr. Harusha’s training, and others like it, will not only give women access to ultrasounds to ensure the health of their developing babies, but will also screen them for any heart anomalies, which can go undiagnosed until delivery, putting the mother at risk during labor. Following the training, the SonoSite ultrasound machine installed at Sengerema hospital, and three additional machines were installed in other high-risk area health centers.

Dr. Harusha truly believes in the sustainability of the unique education model of Touch’s Treat & Train program. He continues to learn new skills which are valuable for him and also valuable to the medical students he is training and to the women he is attending to. For Dr. Harusha, continuing his education and partnership with Touch empowers him to achieve his goal of saving the lives of women and children.

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Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in Touch Foundation. If you would like to learn more about our programs, donate or volunteer, please contact us.

New York, United States
Mwanza, Tanzania