Dignitas International is a medical and research organization dedicated to improving health care for people facing a high burden of disease and unequal access to services. We are committed to working with patients, health workers, researchers and policymakers to tackle the barriers to health care.
Dignitas was launched by Dr. James Orbinski and James Fraser as a humanitarian response to a global health catastrophe. In 2004, the AIDS epidemic was ravaging Malawi, a small country in sub-Saharan Africa, destroying its social and economic infrastructure and threatening its very survival as a nation. Without access to treatment and care, AIDS was a death sentence in Malawi. Hospitals were doubling as morgues as patients were literally dying in the corridors. The situation was an affront to human dignity. We began our commitment to addressing this crisis by setting up an HIV clinic in Zomba district the poorest corner of one of the poorest countries in the world. In our first month at the clinic, we started 33 patients on treatment. Today, this figure has climbed to over 301,652.