• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Helping others across the globe

December 23, 2018

A small group of Mayo Clinic providers have worked with Denis Mukwege, M.D., Ph.D., one of the winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, to treat victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The huts where women live behind the hospital waiting for surgery in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The huts where women live behind the hospital waiting for surgery in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


In October, Denis Mukwege, M.D., Ph.D., received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to stem the tide of sexual violence inflicted on women by armed fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Across the globe in Minnesota, a small group of Mayo Clinic staff rejoiced. They have seen first-hand the revolutionary work performed by Dr. Mukwege at his hospital in the Congo, delivering physical healing and much more to a constant stream of rape victims.

In 2010 and 2014, a Mayo team, led by Deborah Rhodes, M.D., worked alongside Dr. Mukwege at Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu. The team included Lois Mc Guire, Emanuel Trabuco, M.D.Sean Dowdy, M.D., Douglas Creedon, M.D., Ph.D., Eric Dozois, M.D., and Philip Fischer, M.D. The trips were born after a series of encounters Dr. Rhodes had with individuals who told her about the horrific conditions facing girls and women in the Congo.

"It's such an improbable story," Dr. Rhodes says of the relationship.

It began when one of Dr. Rhodes' patients returned from a visit to the Congo and told her about the brutal injuries incurred by women, girls, sometimes even babies. Dr. Rhodes was haunted by the stories. "I just could not get it out of my mind," she says. Read the rest of the story.
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This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.

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