For this piece, we thought it appropriate to honour the work of Dr Denis Mukwege in Bukavu, DR Congo, who has gone from being a pioneering surgeon to an international human rights advocate in the fight against Rape and Sexual Violence. There is growing awareness worldwide that rape is used as a weapon of war in conflict. We wish to bring attention to the enormous challenge facing women and children and especially those in conflict situations.
Dr. Denis Mukwege, 62, is a world-renowned gynaecological surgeon who is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He founded the hospital in 1999 as a clinic for gynaecological and obstetric care, and expected to be working on issues of maternal health. Since 1999, however, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have helped to care for more than 50,000 survivors of sexual violence. The hospital not only treats survivors with physical wounds, but also provides legal, and psycho-social services to its patients. Even patients who cannot afford post-rape medical care are treated without charge at Panzi Hospital.
“When war turns on women and children, I think the world must do more for them,” he says.
For an overview about Dr Denis, please see here and a recent article giving a summary of his work is here.
The work of Panzi Foundation can be read about here and specifically the Panzi holistic healing model is described here.
There is also a more in-depth article from 2009 that is still very relevant today and is co-authored by Dr Denis with Cathy Nangini titled “Rape with Extreme Violence: The New Pathology in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo” that can be read here.
Dr. Denis Mukwege is our first Social Inclusion Hero(ine) for February 2017 and we plan to honour many more on a monthly basis. If you would like to propose someone, please do get in touch…
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