Business Number: 860333426RR0001

Our Mission

We innovate sustainable solutions to global health challenges, build resilient health systems, and advance the right to health for marginalized people and underserved communities.

Our Vision

We envision a world where all people have access to quality health care and realize their potential for a healthy and productive life.

Our Unique Value Proposition

We believe in the inherent dignity of every human being and that the right to health belongs to everyone.

We work on the frontlines with patients and health care workers to deliver care and treatment where it's needed most. We harness research and foster innovation to build resilient health systems. And we advocate for evidence-based health policy that benefits marginalized people and underserved communities.

We are innovators in global health but we are humanitarians first.


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 272,500.

We are proud to have played our part in blunting the onslaught of AIDS in Malawi but our work is far from over. With HIV shifting to a manageable chronic condition, non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cervical cancer are predicted to become the leading killer in Africa by the year 2030. These conditions are particularly prevalent for people living with HIV. It is clear that effective health care cannot be separated into disease-specific silos. We envision an integrated model so that patients can access a range of health services during a single visit at their local health centre. 

Going forward, we will continue to use our experience and expertise in HIV as an entry point to addressing broader health issues. For example, in 2014, we launched our Indigenous Health Partners Program, where we are leveraging knowledge gained in Malawi to strengthen health care delivery in Northern Ontario, where health worker shortages and distance to health facilities remain key challenges.

What People Are Saying

"“In medicine we always learn about new treatments and better ways of providing care. Dignitas has really helped us improve how we take care of our patients.”"

— Alice Kadzanja, Clinical Nurse, Dignitas International, Read More

"“With research, we are able to create evidence-based solutions that are directly fed into our programs to improve patient outcomes.”"

— Edson Mwinijiwa, Research Study Clinician and Coordinator, Dignitas In, Read More

"“Apart from providing direct patient care, our team is helping to strengthen the health care system with ongoing training and mentorship and by ensuring that health centres have what they need to work effectively.”"

— Harriet Akello, Clinician, Dignitas International, Read More

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