McDonald Chisale used to work for a car rental company often contracted by Dignitas. He ended up joining the organization in 2008 as a driver/logistician and went to work in Mulanje District, a two-hour drive south of Zomba.
At that time, people living with HIV in Mulanje could only collect their medicines at the district hospital. “It was difficult and expensive and led to increased cases of people stopping treatment,” he remembers.
Fortunately, Dignitas worked to decentralize both HIV services and drug dispensing to health centres, helping patients save on transport costs, which is often a barrier to care in resource-limited countries.
In the course of a given day, McDonald can be seen transporting health care workers to their mentorship sessions, picking up drugs to alleviate stock ruptures, dropping off specimen samples to the lab or delivering new equipment to a rural health centre. Because the vehicles he drives are marked with a Dignitas logo, he is often approached by people with questions about HIV.
“I wouldn’t know how to respond to these questions if I didn’t work for Dignitas,” says McDonald. He believes that working as a driver makes him an ambassador for the organization.
Over the years, McDonald has seen how Dignitas has helped to improve health care in Malawi. He illustrates the critical role that Dignitas plays: “We provide ongoing training to health care workers so they can provide quality medical care to their patients.”