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Thread: Doctor Ruth Pfau - Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' passes away

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    Doctor Ruth Pfau - Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' passes away

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    Sister Dr Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau (9 September 1929 – 10 August 2017) was a German-Pakistani physician and nun of the Society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary. She devoted nearly 50 years of her life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan.


     



    Pfau was born in Leipzig, Germany, on 9 September 1929. She had four sisters and one brother. Her home was destroyed by bombing during World War II.[4] After World War II when the Soviets occupied East Germany she escaped to West Germany along with her family, and chose medicine as her future career.[5] During the 1950s, she studied medicine at the University of Mainz.
    She joined the Daughters of the Heart of Mary – a Catholic order and was later sent to southern India by her order but a visa issue meant she became stuck in Karachi. She travelled to various parts of Pakistan and across the border to Afghanistan[9] to rescue patients that were abandoned by their families or locked in small rooms for a lifetime.


    In 1960, aged 31, she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to the people of Pakistan and their battle against Leprosy outbreaks. While in Karachi, by chance she visited the Lepers’ Colony behind McLeod Road (now I. I. Chundrigar Road) near the City Railway Station. Here she decided that the care of patients would be her life's calling. She started with medical treatment for the Leprosy patients in a hut in this slum. The Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre was founded (which later branched out into tuberculosis and blindness prevention programmes)[10] and social work for the leprosy patients and their family members was started by Dr. I. K. Gill. A Leprosy Clinic was bought in April 1963 and patients from all over Karachi, Pakistan, and even from Afghanistan came for treatment.
    In 1979, she was appointed as the Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Government of Pakistan.[6] Pfau went to the far off areas of Pakistan where there were no medical facilities for leprosy patients. She collected donations in Germany and Pakistan and cooperated with hospitals in Rawalpindi and Karachi. In recognition of her service to the country, she was awarded Pakistani citizenship in 1988.
    Due to her continued efforts, in 1996, the World Health Organisation declared Pakistan, one of the first countries in Asia to have controlled leprosy. On 9 September 1999 Archbishop Simeon Anthony Pereira of Karachi celebrated a Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral to celebrate Sr. Pfau’s 70th birthday.


    Early morning on 10 August 2017, around 04:00 am PST, Pfau died at the Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi after being admitted there on 4 August 2017. She was put on a ventilator after her condition worsened on 6 August. Pfau had been dealing with several health problems due to her advancing age, including heart disease, for which she has been undergoing treatment for several years.
    Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced in a statement that a state funeral would be held for her at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi on 19 August.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Pfau



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