Panzi Hospital in South Kivu: The Denis Mukwege Foundation Welcomes an Iraqi Delegation and Reaffirms its Commitment to Victims of Sexual Violence

By Lucien Migabo

Rédaction Centrale
3 Min Read

A delegation from the Iraqi government visited the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on April 30, 2024. At a press conference on Thursday, May 2, the delegation members expressed their deep gratitude for the warm welcome by the staff and for the invaluable work of Dr. Denis Mukwege.

Dr. Mukwege, the founder of Panzi Hospital, is a world-renowned gynecologist-obstetrician who has dedicated his life to treating the victims of sexual violence in eastern DRC. His work and that of his team have been lauded by the international community, and Dr. Mukwege received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for his efforts.

A Comprehensive Care Model for Victims

The Panzi Foundation, created by Dr. Mukwege in 2015, draws on the holistic approach developed at Panzi Hospital to provide comprehensive care for victims of sexual violence. This model is based on four fundamental pillars: a medical component for treating physical injuries and traumas, psychosocial support to provide psychological counseling to help victims overcome trauma, socio-economic reintegration to support the reintegration of victims into society and their empowerment, and legal and judicial support to provide legal aid to bring the perpetrators of violence to justice.

The Panzi Foundation implements this care model in several countries affected by conflicts, including Iraq, Colombia, and Ukraine. It collaborates with local governments to establish holistic care programs and support for victims of sexual violence.

The Importance of Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

During her speech, Sandra Horlovic, head of the program specialized in transitional justice at the Denis Mukwege Foundation, emphasized the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing among the various stakeholders involved in caring for victims of sexual violence. She also highlighted the experience of the Denis Mukwege Foundation as a valuable asset for developing effective care models.

The visit of the Iraqi delegation to Panzi Hospital is part of this desire to share experiences and best practices. The delegation members were able to learn about the Panzi Foundation’s care model and discuss with Dr. Mukwege and his team ways to adapt it to the Iraqi context.

A Message of Hope for Victims

Panzi Hospital and the Denis Mukwege Foundation are symbols of hope for victims of sexual violence in the DRC and around the world. The work of Dr. Mukwege and his team enables women and girls to rebuild and regain their dignity after suffering atrocities.

The Denis Mukwege Foundation continues to expand its reach and carry its message of hope to other conflict-affected countries. Its commitment to the victims of sexual violence is an inspiration to the entire world.

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