Dr. Denis Mukwege
Dr. Mukwege is the Director and Founder of the ground-breaking Panzi General Referral Hospital in Bukavu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo where he performs life-saving fistula surgeries on girls and women who have been brutally raped and mutilated in the Congolese war.
He is partnering with V-Day and Unicef to build the City of Joy, a safe community for survivors of sexual violence healed at Panzi.
Dr. Mukewge was born on March 1st, 1955 to a family of 9 children. His father was a Pastor at the Pentacostal Church in Bukavu, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
When he was young, he accompanied his father on his pastoral visits where he first had contact with patients. After his baccalaureate, he studied medicine in Burundi where, after he finished, he worked at the Christian hospital of Lemera in South-Kivu DR Congo. It was there, after witnessing the lack of pre and post natal care in his country, that he decided to study gynaecology/obstetrics at the CHU of Angers in France.
In 1989, Dr. Mukwege settled at the Hospital of Lemera where he create a gynaecology/obstetrics service. This service became known in the area and beyond the borders of the country. Unfortunately during the first civil war of Congo in 1996 the hospital was completely destroyed.
As a survivor from Lemera, Dr. Mukwege settled in Bukavu, where he decided to build a maternity ward with an operating room at Panzi Hospital, creating services specialized for women survivors of sexual violence.