Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

Pakistan's saviour of lepers Dr Ruth Pfau passes away

Pakistan's saviour of lepers Dr Ruth Pfau passes away

Lots of ex pats like myself come back to Pakistan because of inspirational ppl like Dr Ruth Pfau. What an incredible life she lived in the service of suffering humanity!

"Ruth Pfau may have been born in Germany, her heart was always in Pakistan".

Homage began pouring in from the Pakistani authorities soon after the announcement of her death.

She studied medicine in Germany in the 1950s and joined the Daughters of the Heart of Mary before leaving for India via Karachi.

Dr Ruth Pfau, the founder of National Leprosy Control Programme in Pakistan was ill and admitted to a local hospital late Wednesday.

A devout Christian, she had come to Muslim-dominated Pakistan in 1960, which she made her home for the next 57 years.

And as Pfau told the BBC, she never forgot that young man she met on her first stay in Karachi, the patient who crawled toward her in the dirt because he'd been convinced there was nothing more for him than that. It is the most elevated honor of the German territory of Baden-Württemberg - by the German delegate general to recognize the work she has done in putting a stop to leprosy. By 1996, the World Health Organization declared that leprosy had been controlled in Pakistan. Last year, the number of patients under treatment for leprosy fell to 531 from 19,398 in the 1980s, the Dawn newspaper said. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988. Germany awarded her the Order of Merit in 1969.

"Dr Pfau's services to end leprosy in Pakistan can not be forgotten".

Dr Pfau had been hospitalized at a private hospital in Karachi for two weeks due to age-related illnesses, where her condition had been worsening.

She was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second-highest civilian honour in Pakistan. In 2002 she won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, regarded as Asia's Nobel prize. Pfau is scheduled for August 19 at St Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi and she will be laid to rest at the Christian cemetery in the city.

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