TORONTO, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - Dr. James Orbinski, Canadian humanitarian and co-founder of Dignitas International, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions as a physician who has worked to improve healthcare access and delivery in developing countries, and as an advocate for those who have been silenced by war, genocide and mass starvation. This appointment was announced by Governor General Michaëlle Jean on December 30th, 2009. The Order of Canada is one of the country's highest civilian honours, established to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community, and service to the nation.
In 2003, Dr. Orbinski and James Fraser founded Dignitas International, a Canadian-based medical humanitarian organization that increases access to effective HIV/AIDS-related prevention, treatment, care and support in resource-limited settings through developing and sharing community-based solutions.
Highlights / Key Facts:
- Since 2004, Dignitas has worked in partnership with the Ministry of
Health in Malawi to start more than 12,000 adults and children on
life-saving HIV treatment in the Zomba district, and will begin work
in five additional districts over the next three years, expanding its
reach to over three million people.
- Prior to his work with Dignitas, Dr. Orbinski served as the
International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors
Without Borders) and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on MSF's behalf
in 1999. He also worked as MSF's Head of Mission in Goma, Zaire,
during the refugee crisis, and in Kigali during the Rwandan genocide.
Dr. Orbinski launched MSF's Access to Essential Medicines Campaign,
and later co-chaired MSF's Neglected Diseases Working Group, which
created and launched the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.
Dr. Orbinski has received many honorary doctorates and awards,
including the Meritorious Service Cross.
- In 2008, Dr. Orbinski was featured in the internationally-acclaimed
documentary Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma, and
released his best-selling memoir An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian
Action in the 21st Century.
Links / URLs:
- Read more information about Dignitas International's work:
- Watch a video on the impact of Dignitas's life-saving work:
- Read the announcement from the Governor General:
- James Orbinski, Co-Founder, Dignitas International
"It's an honour to be recognized in this way for the work that I have
been involved in. And the work continues. At Dignitas, we have been
very successful in developing a community-based healthcare model for
people living with HIV and TB in the developing world. After just
five years we have over 20,000 HIV+ children, women and men under our
medical care in Malawi. We are fortunate to have some of the best
scientists in Canada and the world collaborating with us to research
and develop better treatment delivery models for both HIV and TB."
James Fraser, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Dignitas International
"James is bringing his visionary leadership to address critical
healthcare needs in the developing world through his work with
Dignitas. This is extraordinary recognition of an extraordinary
Tags / Keywords:
Dignitas, Dignitas International, HIV, AIDS, Order of Canada, James Orbinski, James Fraser, Africa, Malawi, healthcare, developing world
About Dignitas International
Dignitas International dramatically increases access to effective HIV/AIDS-related prevention, treatment, care and support in resource-limited settings through developing and sharing community-based solutions. Please visit http://www.dignitasinternational.org.
SOURCE Dignitas International
For further information: For further information: Kathe Rogers, Dignitas International, (416) 260-3100 x113, firstname.lastname@example.org