Dr. Ruth Pfau remembered on her 90th birth anniversary with respects Monday.
Born on September 9, 1929, in Leipzig, Germany, Dr Ruth Pfau dedicated her life to eradicate leprosy in Pakistan. She passed away on August 10, 2017 at a hospital in Karachi at the age of 87.
Dr Ruth Pfau moved from Germany to Pakistan in year 1961 and devoted more than 55 years of her life for fighting leprosy in the country.
Dr Pfau, a student of medicine, was sent to India in 1960 by her order, the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, but was stuck in Karachi. She first became aware of leprosy and plight of the patients of this disease.
In 1961, Dr Pfau return to Pakistan from India and started an awareness campaign to contain leprosy. She trained local doctors and attracted foreign donations for building leprosy clinics across the country.
She joined the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center (MALC) and soon transformed it into a network of 157 medical centres that treated thousands of people infected with leprosy across the country.
In 1996 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the disease, also known as Hansen’s disease, to be under control in Pakistan in 1996, much before than other nations in Asia owing to dedicated efforts led by Dr. Pfau.
She was given a state funeral with full national honours when passed away on August 10, 2017 in Karachi at the age of 87 and laid to rest in the metropolis .
In 1988 she was granted Pakistan citizenship. In 1979, she was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second-highest civilian award of the country. In 1989, Dr Pfau was presented the Hilal-i-Pakistan for her services.