It's time for my bi-annual run for a swell cause. The cause is... training health workers in Tanzania! I know, I know, you're thinking: I've already donated to this cause! Doesn't Tanzania have enough doctors by now?!?!
Sadly, no. The last time statistics were collected, there was only 1 doctor for every 30,000 people in TZ. Compare that to 1 doctor for 200 people in NYC, or 1 doctor for 590 folks in Idaho (the state with the fewest MDs per capita). Even Idaho has more than 50 times as many doctors per head! The shortage of health workers, along with poor infrastructure and poverty, creates a massive barrier to health care. In many rural areas, seeing a professional health worker requires traveling miles by foot. To see a doctor is likely many more hours on a crowded bus to town, and then hours in line. The journey is costly, and physically impossible for many. Every Tanzanian I met in a village had family or friends who had passed away because they did not seek medical care quickly enough. There were funerals every week.
The government is working to bring health workers closer to rural areas. The Touch Foundation plays an integral role in this process by training health workers on Weill Cornell's Bugando campus, by providing staff and training in rural health centers, and by working with the government to expand the network of professional healthcare in rural TZ. Your donation will provide essential support for the 1100 health workers-in-training (half will be physicians) whose education is funded by the Touch Foundation. These students alone will increase the pool of doctors in TZ by more than 30% by 2014.
Many thanks for your support!