Pakistan’s answer to Mother Teresa, Ruth Pfau, dies

Author: Arab NewsThu, 2017-08-10 22:35ID: 1502383095422665700
DUBAI: Pakistan’s answer to Mother Teresa, Ruth Pfau, a doctor and nun who dedicated her life to eradicating leprosy in Pakistan died in Karachi on Friday aged 87.
Born in Leipzig in 1929, she saw her home destroyed by bombing during World War Two.
Her order sent her to southern India having completed her studies in medicine. But she was stranded in Karachi because of a visa issue and it was then that she became aware of leprosy.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Dr. Pfau “may have been born in Germany, but her heart was always in Pakistan,” the BBC reported.
“Dr. Ruth came to Pakistan 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,” Abbasi added.
She started to set up clinics across Pakistan after visiting the country in 1960 and witnessing leprosy for the first time.
From then onwards she dedicated herself to the fight against the disease, and by 1996 it was declared to have been brought under control.
“Actually the first patient who really made me decide was a young Pathan,” she once told the BBC. “He crawled on hands and feet into this dispensary, acting as if this was quite normal, as if someone has to crawl there through that slime and dirt on hands and feet, like a dog.”
Here work saw her rescue disfigured and suffering children who had been left in caves and cattle pens – their parents afraid they were contagious.
She trained the country’s doctors and attracted foreign donations. She founded Pakistan’s “National Leprosy Control Programme” and the “Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center,” which exist across the nation.
She was praised for her work helping the victims of the 2010 floods in south-west Pakistan.
And she received a number of honors, including, in 1979, Pakistan’s second highest civilian award: the Hilal-e-Imtiaz; in 1989 she received the Hilal-e-Pakistan and the German Staufer Medal in 2015.
Main category: WorldTags: PakistanleprosyRuth Pfaurelated_nodes: Ousted Pakistani PM embarks on populist march in show of strengthIndia pledges to eradicate TB, leprosy within decadeFour Pakistani army personnel killed in suicide attack

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