In an effort to avoid stigma and discrimination, many health workers in Malawi avoid HIV care. They fear being discriminated by the very patients that depend on them. As a result, HIV+ health workers often fail to seek proper treatment until it’s too late.
To address this, Dignitas opened a clinic for health workers in Zomba who play a vital role in delivering health care to thousands. Our health worker clinic is situated discreetly away from our Tisungane Clinic. The clinic allows health workers to receive lifesaving treatment and care in privacy (and not amongst the patients they treat on a daily basis). Our health worker clinic is the first of its kind in Malawi and its success prompted the opening of two additional clinics in Malawi.
To support our health worker clinic, Dignitas administers a program for senior medical residents (Global Health Elective for Senior Postgraduate Trainees and Fellows), which brings Canadian physicians to Malawi on short-term placements. These doctors provide support to the clinic staff by seeing patients and reducing staff workload. This collaboration enables the clinic to manage a higher volume of patients each day. With positive feedback from patients and Malawian clinic staff, this Malawian-Canadian cooperation will continue to support the health system.