A History of Impact

Originally founded as Touch Foundation, Inc., in the Lake Zone of Tanzania in 2004, Touch Health has been working for over two decades to strengthen health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. We take a novel approach to addressing some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing the continent, bringing private sector innovation to bear on the development of sustainable healthcare solutions.

Milestones & Achievements


Touch is founded by Lowell Bryan, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co., as a collaboration with the Bugando Medical Centre in the Lake Zone of Tanzania. Touch’s founding mission has a singular goal: to increase the production of human resources for health (HRH) in a country with only 30% of the healthcare workforce required to meet the population health burden.


A five-year investment to increase the production of HRH in Tanzania, through the establishment of a medical university (the Catholic University of Health & Allied Sciences, CUHAS), graduates its first cadre of doctors. In time, HRH production at CUHAS increases from 10 to 250 annually. 18% of all medical doctors in Tanzania are trained through the CUHAS-Touch program.


With HRH production at a 20-year high, Touch embarks on the Treat & Train program to address clinical quality and health workers distribution through a national rotation system. Treat & Train demonstrates that enrolled health workers are 10x more likely to be assigned to and retained in rural communities – a novel contribution to deconcentrating healthcare capacity from urban areas.


An emergency transportation system for pregnant women, developed as a digital tool that deploys community-based drivers, is piloted in the Sengerema District of Tanzania. The pilot program reaches 2,500 women and – within a decade – will become m-mama, the national maternal transportation system in three African countries.


A Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering is established at the Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania. The model leverages private-sector strategies and the science of operations management. Results are extraordinary: an 80% decrease is medical equipment downtown and a 30% increase in operating theatre uptime, transforming care for over 350,000 patients annually.


Touch’s POA model for health workforce planning and allocation is selected for national scale by the Ministry of Health in Tanzania, supported by USAID. Adopted into the national health strategy, POA becomes the national planning tool over 6,000 health workers annually.


m-mama expands to Lesotho where, within 24 months, it will be adopted as the national emergency transportation system for pregnant women, reaching 5,000 women annually and available in every community in the country.


m-mama reaches national scale in Tanzania, transporting 50,000 women and newborns annually. USAID Administrator Samantha Power presides over an m-mama launch event and declares that “m-mama is the most exciting, cost-effective program I have visited anywhere. It is extraordinary.”


Touch begins piloting the watotoCare program in northern Tanzania. Building on the m-mama ICT platform, watotoCare will enroll 5,000 newborns into a program that delivers post-natal care through transportation, telehealth, and health education solutions.