Denis Mukwege

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Denis Mukwege
Denis Mukwege par Claude Truong-Ngoc novembre 2014.jpg
Born (1955-03-01) 1 March 1955 (age 63)
EducationUniversity of Burundi (MD)
Université libre de Bruxelles (PhD)
Years active1983–present
AwardsHuman Rights First
Civil Courage Prize
Wallenberg Medal
Right Livelihood Award
Four Freedoms Award
Time 100
Sakharov Prize
Seoul Peace Prize
UN Prize in Human Rights
Olof Palme Prize
Gulbenkian Prize
Legion of Honour
Nobel Peace Prize

Denis Mukwege (/mʊkˈwɡi/;[1] born 1 March 1955)[2][3] is a Congolese gynecologist and Pentecostal pastor. He founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been raped by armed rebels.[4] He has treated thousands of women who were victims of rape since the Second Congo War, some of them more than once, performing up to ten operations a day during his 18-hour working days.[4] According to The Globe and Mail, Mukwege is "likely the world's leading expert on repairing injuries of rape".[5]

In 2018, Mukwege and Nadia Murad were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict".[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Mukwege is the third of nine children born to a Pentecostal minister and his wife. He almost died at birth due to an infection but was saved by the Swedish Pentecostal missionary and midwife Majken Bergman.[7] He studied medicine because he wanted to heal the sick people for whom his father prayed, after seeing the complications of childbirth experienced by women in the Congo who had no access to specialist healthcare.[5]

After graduating with a medical degree from the University of Burundi in 1983, Mukwege worked as a pediatrician in the rural Lemera Hospital near Bukavu.[8][9] However, after seeing women patients who due to the absence of proper care often suffered pain, genital lesions, and obstetric fistula after giving birth, he studied gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Angers, France, completing his medical residency in 1989.[8][9][10] His education was mainly financed by the Swedish Pentecostal mission.[11]

On 24 September 2015, he earned a PhD from Université libre de Bruxelles for his thesis on traumatic fistulas in the Eastern Region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[12]

Career[edit]

After returning from studying in France, Mukwege continued working in the Lemera Hospital. After the First Congo War began, he returned to Bukavu due to violent incidents, and founded the Panzi Hospital in 1999.[10] Its construction was mainly financed by Swedish Christian aid organizations and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. It has continued to enjoy support from the Swedish Pentecostal Mission’s development cooperation organization PMU.[13]

Since its foundation, Panzi Hospital has treated more than 85,000 patients with complex gynecological damage and trauma, an estimated 60 percent of injuries has been caused by sexual violence. Most of the patients of that time were coming from conflict zones. Mukwege has described how his patients arrived at the hospital sometimes naked, usually in horrific condition.[5] When he observed that genital damaging was being used as a weapon of war in the conflict of the late 1990s between different armed groups, Mukwege devoted himself to reconstructive surgery to help female victims of sexual violence.[10] The German Institute for Medical Mission (DIFAEM) has been supporting Mukwege's work with funds and medicines.[14]

United Nations speech[edit]

In September 2012, Mukwege gave a speech at the United Nations where he condemned the mass rape occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[15] and criticized the Congolese government and other countries "for not doing enough to stop what he called 'an unjust war that has used violence against women and rape as a strategy of war'".[16]

Assassination attempt and return[edit]

Mukwege in his office in Panzi in 2013.

On 25 October 2012, four armed men attacked his residence while he was not home, held his daughters hostage, and waited for his return to assassinate him. Upon his return, his guard intervened and was shot dead by the assassins. They missed Mukwege as he dropped to the ground during the shooting.[17] After the assassination attempt, Mukwege went into exile in Europe and the Panzi Hospital reported that his absence has had a "devastating effect" on its daily operations.[18]

He returned to Bukavu on 14 January 2013, where the population received him with a warm welcome over the 20 miles from Kavumu Airport to the city, especially from his patients, who had raised funds to pay for his return ticket by selling pineapples and onions.[19]

Other activities[edit]

Mukwege with Lord Ahmad at the PSVI Film Festival in London in 2018.

At 13 years of age, Mukwege took the decision to follow in his father's footsteps and become a Pentecostal minister, which was a transformative experience for him. He later said: "I started to speak in tongues. My whole being was filled with heat and a certainty that I was not alone. The experience was so overwhelming that I knew my life was forever changed by that moment."[20] Apart from working as a doctor, he partly ministers in a Pentecostal church in Bukavu with 700 members.[21] Mukwege has repeatedly named his faith in Jesus Christ as a primary motivation for his work at Panzi.[22]

The Panzi Hospital is being run by the Congolese Pentecostal movement CEPAC and has been continously supported by the Swedish Pentecostal movement. In 2015, Mukwege was invited to speak at Nyhemsveckan, the annual Pentecostal conference in central Sweden. He then said:

From this place, people have been praying for my beloved country and tonight it is a privilege for me to stand here as a fruit of your prayers. My congregation belongs to the Congolese Pentecostal Movement Cepac, and with about one million members it is a fruit of your prayers. The Panzi hospital is a fruit of your prayers. The church must be based on prayer. The Bible tells us to be thankful and thus, I want to be a representative for all those who received the blessings from your efforts in my country and elsewhere, saying thank you from the bottom of my heart.[23]

Board membership[edit]

Recognition[edit]

Awards[edit]

Mukwege at the Sakharov Prize presentation in Strasbourg in 2014.

Honorary degrees[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • (in French) Colette Braeckman: L'homme qui répare les femmes. Violences sexuelles au Congo. Le combat du docteur Mukwege. Bruxelles, André Versaille, 2012. ISBN 978-2-87495194-7.
  • Denis Mukwege: "Dr. Mukwege Fights Back", The New York Times, November 2, 2012.
  • (in French) Denis Mukwege: Plaidoyer pour la vie. Editions Archipel, 2016. ISBN 978-2-80982053-9.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "English pronunciation of Denis Mukwege", You tube, 29 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Denis Mukwege: winner of Sakharov Prize 2014". European Parliament/News. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Denis Mukwege, Laureate of the 2013 Prize for conflict prevention". Fondation Chirac. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Doctor and Advocate: One Surgeon's Global Fight for the Rights of Rape Survivors". Pacific Standard. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Nolen, Stephanie. "Where repairing rape damage is an expertise", The Globe and Mail, 22 October 2008.
  6. ^ "Announcement" (PDF). The Nobel Peace Prize.
  7. ^ ""Inget pris i världen förändrar Mukwege"" (in Swedish). Dagen. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Denis Mukwege". UA Talents (in French). Université d’Angers. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b Boisdron, D (25 January 2018). "Denis Mutwege". Honoris causa (in French). Univ. Angers. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "A fate shaped by injustice – one man's mission to help the women of DR Congo". UN News (interview). 18 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Panzi Hospital". UPanzi Foundation. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  12. ^ Mukwege, Denis (2015-09-24). "Etiologie, classification et traitement des fistules traumatiques uro-génitales et génito-digestives basses dans l'est de la RDC" (in French). Université libre de Bruxelles.
  13. ^ "Pentecostal Nobel Peace Prize Winner Denis Mukwege Gives Glory to God". PCPJ. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  14. ^ Difäm: Projektpartner Dr. Denis Mukwege erhält den Menschenrechtspreis der Vereinten Nationen. Entwicklungspolitik Online (in German), 10 December 2008, retrieved 1 January 2009.
  15. ^ Mukwege, Dr. Denis (2012-09-25). "Presentation to the United Nations". Panzi Hospital. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  16. ^ Cowell, Alan; Gettleman, Jeffrey (22 October 2014). "Denis Mukwege, Congolese Gynecologist, Is Awarded Sakharov Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  17. ^ Kristof, Nicholas (26 October 2012). "An Attack on One of My Heroes, Dr. Denis Mukwege". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  18. ^ Congo-Kinshasa: A Red Armband for Dr Mukwege, Africa: Allafrica.com, 2012, retrieved 16 November 2012
  19. ^ "Congolese gynaecologist wins EU Sakharov Prize". Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  20. ^ Åkerlund, Berthil (2018). Denis Mukwege: en levnadsberättelse [Denis Mukwege: a life story]. Weyler. p. 97. ISBN 9789185849826.
  21. ^ Nobel de la paix : le médecin congolais Denis Mukwege récompensé (in French)
  22. ^ "Congolese Pentecostals see Denis Mukwege, Nobel Prize-winning doctor, as a 'blessing'". Religion News Service. 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  23. ^ "Pentecostal Nobel Peace Prize Winner Denis Mukwege Gives Glory to God". PCPJ. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  24. ^ Board of Advisors The Uncondemned.
  25. ^ Global Advisory Board Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL).
  26. ^ "United Nations Human Rights Prize 2008". 14 February 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  27. ^ a b "DR Congo doctor is 'top African'". BBC News. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  28. ^ "Qui est Denis Mukwege, l'homme qui répare les femmes ?". Blog du SEL (in French). 29 January 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  29. ^ "The King Baudouin International Development Prize, A Prestigious and Original Accolade". 24 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  30. ^ "The Clinton Global Citizen Award". Archived from the original on 2012-10-04. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  31. ^ "Deutscher Medienpreis 2011 an Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Dr. Mitri Raheb, Stanislaw Petrow & Dr. Denis Mukwege". Deutscher Medienpreis (in German). Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  32. ^ Mukwege, Denis (4 May 2014). "A glimpse of hope in the heart of Africa: towards the full implementation of the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement". Peacebuilding. 2 (2): 221–223. doi:10.1080/21647259.2014.910385.
  33. ^ Franco-Rwandaise, La Tribune. "Dr Denis Mukwege, un Médecin Contre le Viol, Arme de Guerre à l'est de la RD Congo".
  34. ^ "Dr. Denis Mukwege Honored for work as a physician and advocate for women survivors of wartime violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo". Civil Courage Prize.
  35. ^ "Dr. Denis Mukwege recognized for his tireless and courageous work on behalf of women victims of rape in war-torn DRC". Archived from the original on 2013-12-06. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  36. ^ "'Alternative Nobel Prize' awarded for courageous work healing women victim of war-time sexual violence". Deutsche Welle. 26 September 2013.
  37. ^ "Clinton presents Advancing Women in Peace and Security Awards". 26 February 2014.
  38. ^ Farkas, Karen (10 September 2014). "Human rights activist to receive the Inamori Ethics Prize at Case Western Reserve University: Higher Education Roundup". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  39. ^ "Le Prix Solidarité". 16 October 2014.
  40. ^ "DR Congo doctor Denis Mukwege wins Sakharov prize". BBC News. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  41. ^ "Médico distinguido por tratar mulheres violentadas no Congo". Notícias ao Minuto. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  42. ^ "Read Dr. Denis Mukwege's Speech Accepting the 2015 Champion of Peace Award". womenforwomen.org. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  43. ^ "Dr. Denis Mukwege, Prix Fondation pour l'Egalité des Chances". 18 January 2016.
  44. ^ "Fortune's World's Greatest Leaders – Denis Mukwege". Fortune. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  45. ^ Wulfhorst, Ellen. "Champions for refugees, violence victims cited by Fortune for…". Reuters. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  46. ^ "The Four Freedom Awards". Forward with Roosevelt. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  47. ^ Lee, Kyung-min (2 September 2016). "Congolese gynecologist wins Seoul Peace Prize". The Korea Times. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  48. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini; Gettleman, Jeffrey; Kulish, Nicholas; Mueller, Benjamin (5 October 2018). "Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for Fighting Sexual Violence". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  49. ^ "Activists against rape and sexual violence in combat named honorary doctors". UMU. 18 June 2010.
  50. ^ "Fête de l'université 2014 – Doctorats honoris causa". UCL – Université Catholique de Louvain. 3 February 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  51. ^ "Harvard awards 10 honorary degrees at 366th Commencement". Harvard Gazette. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  52. ^ "Doctor and rights activist honoured". The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  53. ^ Université d'Angers (in French).
  54. ^ Université de Liège (in French).

External links[edit]