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Denis Mukwege (born 1 March 1955) is a Congolese gynecologist. Working in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by Rwandan militia, Mukwege has probably become the world's leading expert on how to repair the internal physical damage caused by gang rape.[1] He has treated 21,000 women during the Congo's 12-year 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.[1]

Early life

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.[1]


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Nolen, Stephanie. "Where repairing rape damage is an expertise," The Globe and Mail, October 22, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "DR Congo doctor is 'top African'". BBC News. 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  3. "United Nations Human Rights Prize 2008". 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2009-02-01.

Template:Footer Olof Palme Prize laureates

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