Dr. Denis Mukwege was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament last month. The award is given to individuals or organizations who are devoted to fighting for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Dr. Mukwege, a Congolese gynecological surgeon, has dedicated himself to protecting women and providing life-saving care, including fistula repair, to women who are victims of sexual violence. Dr. Mukwege has been a fierce advocate for women’s rights and has campaigned to end mass rape as a weapon of war. Dr. Mukwege is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in the DRC, a site at which Fistula Care Plus is proud to work.
Obstetric fistula is a devastating and pervasive injury; between 1 and 2 million women are currently in need of fistula repair. Dr. Mukwege has not only worked tirelessly to help these women on an individual level by providing life-changing surgeries, but he has advocated for their plight to be recognized on a global level. His steadfast belief that women’s rights are human rights has guided his remarkable career. With champions like Dr. Mukwege, we are one step closer to achieving our vision for a fistula-free generation and our overall mission for promoting gender equity, advocating for sound practices and policies, and inspiring people to assert their rights to better, healthier lives.
The Fistula Care Plus team offers our sincere congratulations to Dr. Mukwege on this much deserved award.