Access to holistic care for sexual violence survivors

In east Congo, Dr Denis Mukwege and his team at Panzi Hospital have pioneered a holistic approach: survivors of sexual violence in conflict have access to medical, psychological, legal and socio-economic support in one place. In the existing hospital, they follow a personalised healing path and receive all the care they need.

In the last 20 years, more than 50,000 survivors received treatment at Panzi. The team developed a world-leading expertise which we help to promote in other conflict-affected regions.

With our support, members of the Panzi medical team train experts in other countries – a real example of south-to-south capacity building. We organise the workshops and provide financial and logistical assistance.

In the past, surgeons and psychologists from Congo travelled to Guinea to share their expertise with their colleagues in West Africa. Similar exchange visits took place in Central African Republic and Rwanda.

Expanding the holistic model to other countries

We work to implement the holistic model of care for survivors of sexual violence in health facilities around the world.

Survivors of sexual violence worldwide should have access to medical, psychological, legal and socio-economic support. Together with Panzi, we work to implement the holistic model in other parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and in other countries affected by war.

Our unique approach: holistic care is integrated in existing health facilities. By bringing together existing services in one place, we ensure that the system is sustainable and survivors have access to the care they need.

In Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, we work to integrate medical, psychological and legal support in an existing hospital, following the model in Congo.

Access to medical and psychological care helps survivors to heal. Legal assistance and socio-economic support, such as vocational training, enables them to reintegrate in society. All together ensures the well-being of individuals and benefits society as a whole, as survivors return to contribute to the society and the economy.

Dr Denis Mukwege

Dr Denis Mukwege is a world-renowned gynaecologist and human rights activist from east Congo. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his global efforts to end the use of rape as a weapon of war. Mukwege founded Panzi Hospital and Foundation and has become the world’s leading specialist on the treatment of wartime sexual violence.

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