Denis Mukwege MP

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Birthdate: (58)
Birthplace: Bukavu, Eastern Congo
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Madeleine
      wife

About Denis Mukwege

Denis Mukwege (born 1 March 1955) is a Congolese gynecologist. Dr. Denis Mukwege is a leader in the movement to highlight the continued problem of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is the director of Panzi Hospital, in Bukavu in the eastern Congo, where he specializes in the treatment of women who are victims of the sexual violence that since the 1990s has been part of the catastrophic civil wars in the Congo and Rwanda. He is one of the world’s leading experts on how to repair the internal physical damage caused by gang rape.

He has treated several thousands of women since the 1998 Congo's war, some of them more than once, performing up to 10 surgeries a day during his 18-hour working days. He has described how his patients arrive at the hospital sometimes naked, usually bleeding and leaking urine and faeces from torn vaginas.

Mukwege was the third of nine children born to a Pentecostal minister and his wife. He studied medicine because he wanted to heal the sick that his father prayed for, working at first in a rural hospital, then traveling to France to study gynecology, after seeing the complications of childbirth experienced by women in the Congo who had no access to specialist healthcare.

UN speech and attack

In September 2012, Mukwege made a strong speech condemning impunity for mass rape in the DRC, criticizing both president Joseph Kabila and the Rwandan government's role in mass rapes in Eastern Congo. On October 25, 2012, four gunmen attacked Mukwege's home, killing his guard. They fired at Mukwege as well, who avoided the bullets by throwing himself to the ground. After the assassination attempt, Mukwege fled to Brussels and the Panzi unit reported that the absence has had an “overwhelming effect” on daily operations at the unit.

Awards

  • Republic of France "Special Human Rights Prize 2007" taken to Panzi Hospital in Bukavu by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Rama Yade (June 2008)
  • UN Human Rights prize (New York, December 2008)[4]
  • Olof Palme Prize (Sweden, January 2009) [5]
  • African of the Year (Nigeria, January 2009), awarded by Daily Trust [5]
  • Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by the French government (French Embassy / Kinshasa, November 2009)
  • In June 2010, Denis Mukwege received the Van Heuven Goedhart-Award 2010 from the Netherlands Refugee Foundation (Stichting Vluchteling)
  • In October 2010, Mukwege received the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan
  • The King Baudouin International Development Prize (May 24, 2011)
  • Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Civil Society (New York, September 22, 2011)
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Dr. Denis Mukwege's Timeline

1955
March 1, 1955
Bukavu, Eastern Congo
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