Dr Mukwege is a Congolese surgeon, gynaecologist and women’s rights activist. He founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC, in 1999 as a clinic for gynaecological and obstetric care. However, Dr Mukwege's first patient was not a mother-to-be but a young woman who had been raped. Since the facility opened Dr. Mukwege and his staff have cared for more than 40,000 survivors of sexual violence, which has made him the world’s leading expert on ‘repairing’ the internal physical damage caused by rape within a conflictual setting. The hospital not only treats survivors with physical wounds, but also provides legal, psycho-social services and socio-economic support to its patients, making it a one-stop hospital providing holistic medical care to survivors of rape and other patients in need of medical care in the region.
Dr Mukwege also campaigns globally to bring the use of rape as a weapon of war to an end. He advocates fiercely for the rights of survivors of sexual violence, and to hold perpetrators to account. He has earned many distinctions for his work and is on the advisory committee for the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict, and UNHCR’s Advisory Board on Gender and Protection.
I am so inspired by Dr Mukwege's hard work and selfless dedication to improving the lives of the women and girls, and couldn't think of a more deserving recipient of the 2018 Nobel Pace Price.