Pak's 'Mother Teresa' Dr Ruth Pfau passes away

by Joy Montgomery August 11, 2017, 0:28
Pak's 'Mother Teresa' Dr Ruth Pfau passes away

The German nun lost her battle with life while she was undergoing a surgery at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre.

Doctor originally from Germany shifted to Pakistan in 1960 and started her fight against leprosy resulted in end of disease in Pakistan.

A symbol of selflessness and dedication to leprosy patients, Dr Ruth Pfau, aged 87, passed away in Karachi on Wednesday night.

Dr Pfau, the founder of the National Leprosy Control Programme in Pakistan, was in charge of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP), where leprosy patients are treated.

"It was due to her endless struggle that Pakistan defeated leprosy", German Consulate Karachi posted on Facebook.

She "may have been born in Germany, but her heart was always in Pakistan", the country's prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said in a statement Thursday.

Pfau first witnessed leprosy, an infectious disease that affects the skin and other organs of the body, in Karachi.

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Not required to take the veil or live in seclusion, she ended up in Pakistan by chance. In 1979, the Pakistani government appointed her Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

She was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz - Pakistan's second highest civilian award - in 1979, the Hilal-e-Pakistan in 1989.

She was 29 when landed in Karachi for the first time.

Tributes poured in from Pakistani luminaries Thursday. And she ultimately came to enjoy a celebrity in Pakistan on par with another nun known the world over for her work with the sick and the poor: Mother Teresa. She came here at the dawn of a young nation looking to make lives better for those afflicted by disease, and in doing so, found herself a home.

"With great concern we have got the sad massage of the death of Dr Ruth Pfau. That is the worst", she told German newspaper Der Spiegel in 2015.

Due to her efforts, Pakistan became one of the first countries in Asia to be declared free of leprosy in 1966.


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