Founder and Medical Director,
The Panzi Hospital
Denis Mukwege Mukengere is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As a young child, Dr. Mukwege accompanied his father, a Pentecostal pastor, while visiting sick members of the community. This later inspired him to become a doctor. The Swedish Pentecostal mission helped support him in his medical studies. He decided to specialize in gynecology and obstetrics after observing that female patients at Lemera Hospital suffered from insufficient medical care, which caused complications during their deliveries.
Amid the war in eastern DRC, in 1998, he initiated the construction of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. The hospital has become known worldwide for the treatment of survivors of sexual violence and women with severe gynecological problems. Dr. Denis Mukwege has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades and in 2009 was named African of the Year.
Dr Mukwege is a tireless advocate for the rights of women in DRC. He has addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the matter and regularly travels abroad raising awareness of the situation in Eastern DRC. In between responsibilities managing and administering Panzi Hospital and overseeing projects at the Panzi Foundation, Dr Mukwege continues to see patients and perform surgery two days a week.
Awards and Accolades
2007 – Republic of France Special Human Rights Prize
2008 – UN Human Rights Prize
2009 – Olof Palme Prize
2009 – African of the Year
2009 – Nobel Peace Prize (nominated)
2010 – Honorary doctorate in medicine at Umea University in Sweden
2010 – University of Michigan Raoul Wallenberg Medal
2011 – King Baudouin International Development Prize
2011 – Clinton Global Citizen Award