Medical care for women who are victims of sexual violence

— Democratic Republic of Congo —

Prise en charge médicale des femmes victimes de violences sexuelles

BACKGROUND

The South Kivu region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been a conflict zone since 1999, where many armed groups are employing violent tactics with near impunity against the civilian population, particularly against women, using rape as a weapon of war. Dr Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi Hospital in the centre of this region, has devoted his life to saving female victims and denouncing sexual violence.

The Panzi Hospital offers a full range of services (a holistic model or “one-stop treatment centre”), including medical, psychological, socio-economic and legal intervention. Since the hospital opened, it has treated nearly 50,000 victims of sexual violence.

On 6 December 2017, before the Fondation Pierre Fabre Board of Directors, Dr Mukwege presented a project to replicate his model for comprehensive victim care at the hospital in Bulenga. This facility, located 165 kilometres from Panzi in another area affected by the conflict, has 62 beds and currently sees 1,800 patients a year, but lacks the human and material resources it needs.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on 28 May 2018 during a mission to Bulenga.

KEY FACTS
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Area of intervention
Access to quality healthcare

Programme
Since 2017

Initiative
Financing medical activities at Bulenga Hospital

Panzi Foundation

Avenue Jean Mirhuho 3, Mushununu, Bukavu,

Democratic Republic of the Congo-Kinshasa

To support medical care for the women in Bulenga, I reached out to the Fondation Pierre Fabre, known for its medical work and support for many activities that improve access to healthcare. I am very pleased the Foundation will be supporting my work”

Dr Denis Mukwege

Future initiatives

The Fondation Pierre Fabre will fund all activities related to providing medical care to the victims at this hospital for the next two years and will work with Dr Mukwege’s team to assess how this structure can be sustained.

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