Dr Ruth Pfau laid to rest in Karachi after state funeral

Frederick Owens
August 19, 2017

President Mamnoon Hussain, Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah and other high-level officials are to attend the last rites of Pakistan's "Mother Teresa". State-run television broadcast live footage of her casket being carried by a military guard at the city's St. Patrick's Cathedral. She died on August 10 at the age of 87 in Karachi.

"There is no one like her and there won't be any replacement to her".

In their messages, they said that she played her active role throughout her life in helping the country's most vulnerable people and her spirit of selfless dedication has left a vacuum that would be hard to fill.

It was due to her efforts that the World Health Organisation (WHO) finally declared Pakistan a leprosy-free country in 1966.

The dead body of Pfau was shifted to MALC from Holy Family Hospital earlier today where the patients caught a glimpse of the priceless soul.

Pfau, who was rightly credited for eradicating leprosy from Pakistan wished that she should not be put on a ventilator, probably for living a natural life, how long it was.

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Pfau converted to Catholicism and in 1957 joined the Daughters of the Heart of Mary religious order which sent her to southern India.

She was awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz, second highest civilian award of country in 1979, and later granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988.

Pfau was a German-Pakistani doctor who dedicated her life to helping leprosy patients in Pakistan and is one of the founders of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC).

In 1996, Leprosy was controlled in Pakistan.

Last year, the number of patients under treatment for leprosy fell to 531 from over 19,000 in the 1980s.

In pursuance of the announcement by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, state funeral is being accorded to Sister Ruth Katharina Martha Pfau. She came 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. After witnessing the plight of leprosy patients, she made a decision to settle here.

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