Réginald Moreels

Réginald Moreels

Réginald Moreels


Réginald Moreels (Ghent, 4 December 1949) studied medicine at Ghent University.

He established himself as a surgeon in Ostend. In the 1980s, he co-founded the Belgian branch of Médecins Sans Frontières and was president from 1986 to 1994.

A year later, he entered politics, first becoming state secretary and then minister for Development Cooperation.

Dr Moreels remained active as a surgeon in conflict zones throughout this time. He saw the horrors of war first-hand in Rwanda, Angola, Cambodia, Iraq, Syria, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

Since 2014, he has been working to put the Beni region, in the north-east of the DRC, on the map. He regularly travels to Beni to provide free surgical care.

The region, home to more than 1 million people, is a blind spot for international aid organisations. This injustice led to the creation of UNICHIR and the building of the surgical and obstetric centre.

My last big mission

“Since 2015, I’ve travelled to Beni many times to operate on critically ill patients, alone or with fellow surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses. We worked there in very primitive conditions. Happily, the centre is now changing that. I therefore consider the centre to be my last great mission.”

Dr Réginald Moreels