Friday 5th October 2018: Interview with Jean Paul Buhendwa, anesthetist at Panzi Hospital, DR Kongo.
Were you prepared for the award?
No, no one expected it. Especially since he has been nominated so many times without being selected.
How did you get the news?
The information came from a Program Manager at Läkarmissionen who immediately called and informed an agent at Panzi. There was no information, no preparation. Dr Mukwege himself was very relaxed and he just finished surgery when the news came. He was with a patient in intensive care. The word spread immediately at the hospital and coming out of the intensive care, patients greeted him with drums, bells, whistles – all spontaneously. It was almost impossible to work for several hours because of the joy.
What kind of reactions have you met in Bukavu?
The population here speaks of justice, recognition, and reward for the efforts of this man and his team. Knowing the repression in this country and seeing that he despite all this continues to defend the women and the oppressed, I see that he does all this despite the risk for his own safety. Even though he could choose to live in Europe or elsewhere in the world he chooses to stay with his patients and the population of Congo which he defends with body and soul.
What does the award mean to you?
Ever since he began caring of the victims of rape and sexual violence, not only he risked his life and still risks, he continues to defend the life of women in a country where the political system does not favor women. By this award the world has rewarded not only the work of Dr. Mukwege and his team but especially all these women victims of sexual violence. This is a good way to tell all those who commit these atrocities that too much is too much!
Läkarmissionen har sedan 1958 arbetat för att förändra framtiden för utsatta människor. 2017 gick runt 100 miljoner kronor till våra ändamål, främst hjälpinsatser i fyra världsdelar med tyngdpunkt på Afrika. Största delen av pengarna är gåvor från privatpersoner i Sverige. Vårt fokus ligger på att hjälpa människor att hjälpa sig själva att förändra sina livsvillkor. Därför har vi ett nära samarbete med lokala partners inom tre huvudområden: social omsorg, utbildning och självförsörjning. Läkarmissionen arbetar också med humanitärt bistånd.
Läs mer på www.lakarmissionen.se eller följ oss på facebook.com/Lakarmissionen.