PM Abbasi announces state funeral for Dr Pfau

Posted August 11, 2017

Dr Ruth Pfau, who devoted her whole life for Pakistan's lepers, passed away today at a private hospital, an official of the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) said in a statement.

Ruth Pfau, a German doctor and nun who dedicated her life to eradicating leprosy in Pakistan and who has been described as the country's "Mother Teresa", died in Karachi on Thursday.

President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday expressed grief over the demise of Dr Ruth Pfau. And that is where she would stay until her death, committing more than five decades in Pakistan to the fight against leprosy, the nerve and skin disease now known as Hansen's disease. On her way she stopped in Karachi on March 8, 1960, because of some visa problems.

'We are proud of her exemplary services and she will remain in our hearts as a shining symbol in times ahead, ' the Prime Minister said. In the following couple of years, the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center opened more branches in every other area of the nation, additionally in Gilgit-Baltistan. With the partnership of the Pakistani government, Pfau developed the country's National Leprosy Control Programme and extended her efforts to include treatments for blindness and tuberculosis. By 1996, the World Health Organization declared that leprosy had been controlled in Pakistan.

She later joined a religious order, which sent her to India.

Tributes poured in from across the country after the passing of the humanitarian.

She was presented with Pakistan's second highest civilian honour, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, in 1979 in recognition of her work. 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.

She was also awarded the Staufer Medal at the German consulate Karachi in 2015. She has treated over 50,000 patients.

Chief of Army Staff Qamar Jawed Bajwa referred to Dr Ruth as an "ambassador of humanity" and said "she will always be remembered" for her services.