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Spine Africa Project appoints Dr. Denis Mukwege as Vice President and Dr. Roger Luhiriri as Executive Director

NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Spine Africa Project (SAP) has appointed Dr. Denis Mukwege, MD, as Vice President, and Dr. Roger Luhiriri, MD, as Executive Director. Drs. Mukwege and Luhiriri have been influential in raising international awareness of health issues and human rights violations in the regions of the eastern Congo. Their advocacy will bolster the efforts of the Project to raise funds to provide medical outreach and training and to build education infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), important components of the larger mission to bring lasting social change to the country.

"With great honor and humility we welcome Dr. Mukwege and Dr. Luhiriri to the work of the Spine Africa Project. Their vast contributions and personal sacrifices to the health and well-being of the people of Africa have provided a true inspiration to the next generation of young Africans," says SAP President and Founder, Dr. Richard Kaul.

Dr. Mukwege adds, "The SAP brings much needed educational and clinical spine expertise to the disadvantaged people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and it is with great pleasure that I accept the appointment of Vice President."

Dr. Luhiriri concludes, "I would like to thank the SAP and its President and Founder, Dr.Richard Arjun Kaul, MD, for their tireless and selfless commitment to helping the people of my country, and I look forward to developing socioeconomic programs to help create a bright new future for Africa."

Dr. Denis Mukwege, MD, Vice President

Dr. Denis Mukwege, a staunch activist, is the world's leading expert on repairing severe vaginal damage resulting from rape. In 1999 he founded the Panzi Hospital at Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he specializes in treating women victimized by sexual violence. Since the 1998 Congo War, Dr. Mukwege has treated thousands of women systematically gang-raped and sexually brutalized by Rwandan militia. Importantly, in addition to medical treatment, survivors receive psychological counseling, legal representation, and financial support.

For his work with survivors of sexual violence, Dr. Mukwege has received the United Nations Human Rights Award, the Olof Palme Prize, the Republic of France Special Human Rights Prize, and the Clinton Global Citizen Award and was named Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, among many other honors.

Dr. Roger Luhiriri, MD, Executive Director

Dr. Roger Luhiriri was a former lead surgeon in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics from the Panzi Hospital in the DRC. He specialized there in the treatment of traumatic and obstetrical fistula and assisted survivors with obtaining necessary psychological support and counseling, vocational training, and legal and socioeconomic planning. Dr. Luhiriri increased outreach through international media, governmental agencies, and nonprofits to raise awareness of sexual violence against women, and he continues to advocate for prevailing women's and human rights issues in Africa. Dr. Luhiriri is passionately committed to raising the status of women through community participation, peace-building, and policy reform.

About Spine Africa Project

Spine Africa Project focuses on three objectives: the treatment of those afflicted with spinal conditions, the education of local medical personnel, and social change. Each of these three factors contributes individually to what seems to be an exclusively medical epidemic. To learn more about Spine Africa Project, visit our Website at http://www.spineafricaproject.com.

SOURCE Spine Africa Project

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