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PM announces state funeral for Dr. Ruth Pfau

11 August 2017
PM announces state funeral for Dr. Ruth Pfau

German-born nun Ruth Katharina Martha Pfau, who devoted her life to eradicating leprosy in Pakistan, died on Thursday in the southern city of Karachi, a hospital official said.

Dr. Ruth Pfau, a German doctor, who led the fight against leprosy in Pakistan died on Wednesday.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa responded to the demise of Dr Ruth Pfau saying she will be remembered as the ambassador for humanity. However, a visa problem kept Pfau in Pakistan, where she went on to live for 57 years.

It was due to her efforts that the World Health Organisation (WHO) finally declared Pakistan a leprosy-free country in 1966. "Pakistani nation salutes Dr. Pfau and her great tradition to serve humanity will be continued", the President stated. 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.

Tributes poured in from Pakistani luminaries Thursday. 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.

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 previous year.

Pakistani senator Sherry Rehman wrote: "She came to Pakistan 56 years ago and spent her life looking after the diseased and dispossessed".

The Pakistan government recognized her selfless service by awarding her the country's second-highest civilian award "Hilal-i-Imtiaz" in 1979, and later "Hilal-e-Pakistan" in 1989.

Saddened to learn of Dr Ruth Pfau's passing. 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 was also awarded the Staufer Medal at the German consulate Karachi in 2015.