A reason for hope in war-torn eastern DRC — New Internationalist
The ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the deadliest since the Second World War. More than 5 million people have died – mainly of starvation and disease – and marauding militia groups have raped and abused hundreds of thousands of women and children.
Deep in the east of the country, where the war began in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, one surgeon in a small and underfunded hospital is giving women and children a reason for hope.
In 1999, Dr Denis Mukwege founded Panzi Hospital, in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, to provide medical care and support to rape victims. He has received several international awards and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to treat over 30,000 survivors of sexual violence. Dr Mukwege explained:
The perpetrators of these crimes destroy life at its entry point. The women can no longer have children. Often they get infected with AIDS and will spread the disease. Their men are humiliated. So the perpetrators destroy the entire social fabric of their enemies, their communities, their future generations, without even killing the woman.