Panzi Hospital was founded in 1999 in Bukavu, the capital of the Sud-Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It specializes in treating survivors of violence, the large majority of whom have been sexually abused. After years of military rape in South Kivu, there is increased civilian adoption of sexual violence.
The Panzi Hospital is managed by Communauté des Eglises de Pentecôte en Afrique Centrale (CEPAC, the Pentecostal Churches in Central Africa), itself founded by the Swedish Pentecostal Mission in 1921. Director Dr. Denis Mukwege has been operating on survivors of sexual violence for over a decade, and is one of only two doctors qualified to perform the reconstructive surgery. He published an analysis of the sexual violence crisis in eastern DRC in PLoS Medicine in Dec. 2009, based on his extensive, first-hand experience. Dr. Mukwege is the recipient of the UN 2008 Human Rights Award and the 2014 Sakharov Prize, and has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite its support network and the overwhelming need for the services it provides, the Panzi Hospital continually faces a shortage of money, supplies, and resources to expand its base of qualified personnel. The hospital was initially built for 120 beds but the total number of beds is now 350, out of which 200 are devoted to sexual violence survivors. On average, Panzi admits 410 patients per month and is currently running at maximum capacity.
- "General Referral Panzi Hospital: About".
The General Referral Panzi Hospital ...built in 1999
- ""Now, The World Is Without Me": An Investigation of Sexual Violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo" (PDF). Harvard Humanitarian Initiative With Support from Oxfam America. April 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
After years of military rape in South Kivu, civilian adoption of sexual violence is becoming recognized as its own problem.
- Stephanie Nolen (Spring 2005). ""Not Women Anymore…": The Congo’s rape survivors face pain, shame and AIDS". Ms. (magazine). Retrieved 2011-12-04.
It took Thérèse Mwandeko a year to save the money...She walked with balled-up fabric clenched between her thighs, to soak up blood that had been oozing from her vagina for two years, since she had been gang-raped by Rwandan militia soldiers who plundered her village in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Finally, she arrived at Panzi Hospital...Dr. Denis Mukwege, Panzi’s sole gynecologist and one of two doctors in the eastern Congo who can perform such reconstructive surgeries, can repair only five women a week.
- "Where We Help: Democratic Republic of Congo".
The Fistula Foundation is choosing to target its support for the Congo in light of the dramatic need for treatment and also to offer a glimmer of hope to the nation’s women (through) Panzi Hospital in Bukavo, the capital city of the country's South Kivu Province
- Koinange, Jeff (2006-05-26). "Rape, brutality ignored to aid Congo peace". CNN.com. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
- Gettleman, Jeffrey (2007-10-07). "Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
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- Panzi Hospital of Bukavu
- PMU InterLife - a Swedish non-governmental organization that funded the construction of the Panzi Hospital
- The Fistula Foundation - an American non-governmental organization that raises awareness of and funding for fistula repair, prevention, and educational programs worldwide, including Panzi Hospital
- SAFER (Social Aid For the Elimination of Rape) - a Canadian non-governmental organization that uses 100% of all funds to purchase and transport medical supplies to the Panzi Hospital.
- Panzi Foundation - a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and partnering with Panzi Hospital to heal women and restore lives