Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was founded by Dr. Denis Mukwege, a world-renowned gynecological surgeon and the 2018 co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Mukwege opened the hospital in 1999 to provide the women in his community with access to high-quality maternal health care. Many of his first patients, however, were not delivering mothers, but instead women who were seeking treatment following brutal rapes. This had a profound effect on his life and career, inspiring him to become an advocate against sexual violence in conflict in DRC and around the globe.
Since 1999, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have helped to care for more than 55,000 survivors of sexual violence, and treated over 85,000 complex gynecological traumatic injuries, including fistulas and organ prolapse. He founded Panzi Foundation DRC in 2008 to implement a holistic healing model that combines medical treatment with psycho-social care, community-reintegration support, and access to legal services. In 2009, he co-founded Panzi Foundation USA to amplify international fundraising efforts to support the hospital and its holistic after-care programs.
Dr. Mukwege has been fearless in his efforts to increase protection for women and to advocate that those responsible for sexual violence be brought to justice. In addition, he has been a tireless advocate against sexual violence as a weapon of war around the globe.
In 2018, he was named a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end sexual violence as a weapon of war, alongside Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor and advocate