In many rural areas, there is just one doctor to serve 1,000,000 people. This shortage is a major contributing factor of the high maternal and infant mortality rates in Tanzania.
Working in partnership with the Tanzanian and US governments and the private sector, Touch has increased the healthcare worker training capacity in a teaching hospital in Tanzania from just 10 in 2004 to over 1,000 today -- making it Tanzania's second largest medical school. Touch will continue to collaborate with partners to further increase this capacity to address the national shortage of 89,000 health care workers.
Touch has invested US $26 million in cash and in-kind contributions to train healthcare workers -- MDs, nurses, lab technicians, radiographers, and others. By 2014, this effort alone will have increased the number of doctors in Tanzania by 30 percent. More importantly, by bringing these healthcare professionals to patients outside the cities, we will double the number of doctors in a rural region of sub-Saharan Africa of 13 million people.
Our aim, which we share with the Tanzania government, is that one day the country will have the self-sustainable network and resources needed to close the critical healthcare worker gap so patients in even the remotest areas will recieve timely care.
We will also develop a model for healthcare worker training that can be applied across sub-Saharan Africa.