1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege

Comment donner un avenir aux femmes et aux enfants victimes de violences sexuelles dans les conflits ?


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F. Rojas Lopez, E. Wynants, M. Coiret & N. Neema

The Maman-Cherie, a red thread in the holistic care approach

Open Access


Sexual abuse is a social and public health problem often exacerbated by crises. In eastern DRC, a protracted conflict has torn asunder the social and community fabric. In this context, the Panzi Hospital provides holistic care for survivors of sexual violence.

This qualitative descriptive study aims to showcase the role of Maman-Cheries in a holistic response setup under the prism of the IASC guidelines, through interviews addressing survivor’s perception and self-perception of Maman-Cheries regarding their achievements, role and limitations.

The work Maman-Cheries started in 2003, following the acknowledgment of the lack of medical professionals to ensure care and the dire need to provide MHPSS. It began with a basic training of nurses on psychosocial support. Progressively their presence took a more prominent role, and their tasks expanded towards the humanisation of care. Not only they provide psychosocial support, but also ensure daily the satisfaction of basic needs, the stewardship within the hospital and all its services, the gatekeeping and coordination, and finally the continuity of care by ensuring follow up once the survivors are back in the community. Thus, Maman-Cheries’ role is embedded in the package of non-specialized support services from the IASC pyramid.

Nowadays, 9 Maman-Cheries manage yearly over 1500 new survivors, dealing with challenges such as scarce resources, limited skills, understaffing and a degrading context. It is paramount to implement extensive and continuous training of the Maman-Cheries in order to ensure adequate fulfilment of their role, and to also take care of their own mental health

Pour citer cet article

F. Rojas Lopez, E. Wynants, M. Coiret & N. Neema, «The Maman-Cherie, a red thread in the holistic care approach», 1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege [En ligne], Actes du colloque, URL : https://popups.uliege.be/chairemukwege/index.php?id=140.