Pakistan pays tribute to its 'Mother Taresa' Dr Ruth Pfau

Jeannette Daniel
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.

She arrived in Pakistan, where she spent the rest of her life, in 1960.

The funeral was scheduled for August 19 in Karachi, said Shariq Zaman, a spokesman for Pfau's charity.

The late Dr Ruth had come to Pakistan from Germany in 1960, and was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988.

It was after the horrors of World War II in her native Germany that Pfau made a decision to dedicate her life to serving humanity, becoming a doctor and joining the Daughters of the Heart of Mary order, founded during the French Revolution. In 1979, the Pakistani government appointed her Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

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

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Her order sent her to southern India having completed her studies in medicine.

Not required to take the veil or live in seclusion, she ended up in Pakistan by chance.

Her death drew messages of condolences from all sections of Pakistani society, with many comparing her passing to that of the philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who passed away a year ago. "Pakistani nation salutes Dr Pfau and her great tradition to serve humanity will be continued", said President Mamnoon Hussain.

From then onwards she dedicated herself to the fight against the disease, and by 1996 it was declared to have been brought under control. She didn't confine her endeavors to treating leprosy patients but at the same time was of colossal help when Sindh confronted serious flooding. She became known as the Mother Theresa of Pakistan, a reference to Mother Theresa of India, the nun and missionary who became a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

Funeral mass will be held on Sunday, August 19, 2017 at 11am at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The religious woman got the privileged honors of Hilal-e-Pakistan in 1989 and Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 1979 from the legislature of Pakistan.

Other reports by My Hot News

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