Friday, October 28, 2016

Grand Duchess Supports Dr. Denis Mukwege

© Photo 2016 Cour grand-ducale / Charles Caratini / tous droits réservés
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa spent the day supporting Dr. Denis Mukwege. The Grand Ducal Couple received Dr. Mukwege and his wife for an audience at the Palais early in the afternoon. Later the Grand Duchess attended a conference debate on the subject "Dr. Denis Mukwege a Defender of the Life of Congolese Women - the Course of an Exceptional Man". Following the debate, the Grand Duchess assisted with a lecture given by Dr. Mukwege that included a presentation of his book A Plea for Life.

Dr. Mukwege is a remarkable man who deserves the honor and support of figures such as Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. He has dedicated his life to defending, supporting and assisting female survivors of rape. He spends 18 hours a day doing operations to repair the horrific physical damage caused by gang-rape. These horrific acts of violence include vicious rapes and purposeful mutilation of the sexual organs.

© Photo 2016 Cour grand-ducale / Charles Caratini / tous droits réservés
Each month the Panzi Hospital founded by Dr. Mukwege admits more than 400 patients and he is one of only a few doctors qualified to preform the delicate and complex surgeries required to repair vaginal tears and vaginal fistulas that result from these violent assaults. His hospital has provided over 4,000 free surgeries just to treat fistula. These circumstances have led to Dr. Mukwege becoming the world's leading expert on repairing the internal trauma caused by gang-rape and vicious sexual assaults.

Unfortunately, sexual violence against the population of the Congo is a daily occurrence. The Congo has been locked in decades of violent conflict. Since 1996 one war after another has raged across the region. Women, children and even men are viciously and repeatedly sexually assaulted as part of the "usual" war strategies in the region. This rampant sexual violence has become an increasingly common part of civilian life, as well. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is referred to as "the worst place in the world to be a woman".

Dr. Mukwege is a brave man whose dedication to helping repair the physical and psychological trauma of sexual assault and his boldness in speaking out against the practice has earned him many honors. Sadly, he has also been the victim of a violent assassination attempt resulting in the murder of one of his guards and his daughters being held hostage. Despite this, Dr. Mukwege continues to help survivors and to campaign against sexual violence.

Dr. Mukwege has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize THREE times and has received dozens of other awards and honors.

Because the conflicts in the region receive pitifully little attention outside of Africa the Panzi Hospital suffers from chronic lack of funds. You can donate to help Dr. Mukwege and his staff continue providing medical and psychological assistance to these vulnerable victims. Alternately, the Fistual Foundation supports facilities that aid survivors throughout Africa and Asia, including the Panzi Hospital.

RTL has additional photos and a video of the events. Additionally, the cour now has some photos. 

No comments:

Post a Comment