UWinnipeg congratulates Dr. Denis Mukwege on Nobel Peace Prize
The University of Winnipeg congratulates Dr. Denis Mukwege for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which was announced today. Mukwege is an honorary alumnus of UWinnipeg, having received an honorary doctorate at a special convocation in 2014.
“Dr. Mukwege’s work affects many lives and advances the status of women,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor. “He is a force for good in one of the most traumatized places in the world.”
Mukwege was initially inspired to become a doctor while visiting patients alongside his father, a Pentecostal pastor. He later chose to specialize in gynecology and obstetrics after observing that the inadequate medical care women received often led to complications in child delivery. His focus shifted in 1998 when he co-founded the Panzi Hospital in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Bukavu, just as war in the region was breaking out. Sexual violence was widely used as a weapon in what Mukwege once described to a New York Times columnist as “an act of terrorism.”
The Panzi hospital is now known as a refuge sought by tens of thousands of women who are survivors of sexual violence. While he uses his medical skills to repair the bodies of victims, Mukwege is also working to repair the social and political issues behind the assaults.
Despite threats to his family’s safety, he continues to work in Bukavu, helping patients who are survivors of sexual violence
Mukwege has already received numerous awards for his work that include the UN Human Rights Prize, the Daily Trust African of the Year Award, the Clinton Global Citizen Award, and the Olof Palme Prize.
Mukwege was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi.