The story of Dr Mukwege
Dr Denis Mukwege was born in 1955 in Bukavu. He studied medicine at the University of Burundi in Bujumbura. After some years as paediatrician in rural Congo he specialized in Gynaecology to help women suffering genital leisure and fistula following childbirth. He returned to his rural hospital, but during the first Congo War moved to Bukavu where he founded the Panzi hospital in 1999. Also in its early years the hospital was supported by WarTrauma Foundation (now ARQ International).
Panzi Hospital has treated over 80,000 patients with complex gynaecological damage and trauma. Around sixty percent of the injuries have been caused by sexual violence and Dr Mukwege has since specialised in reconstructive surgery to aid victims of sexual violence. In 2012 Dr Mukwege gave a speech at the UN General Assembly condemning mass rape as weapon of war and the failure of the Congolese government to stop it. The speech lead to an assassination attempt at his home in Bukavu only a few weeks later. After a few months exile, he returned to the hospital where he is still medical director. Belgian director Thierry Michel made a documentary about his life and works titled: “The Man Who Mends Women: The Wrath of Hippocrates.”
Dr Mukwege received the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 together with Ms Nadia Murad. Ms Murad is an Iraqi Yezidi human rights activist who was kidnapped and
abused by Islamic State before escaping.