Ray of hope to lepers, Dr Ruth Pfau passes away in Karachi

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Ray of hope to lepers, Dr Ruth Pfau passes away in Karachi

Dr Ruth Pfau, a German doctor popularly known as Pakistan's "Mother Teresa" for dedicating her life to eradicate leprosy in the country, died Thursday at a private hospital in Karachi.

He said the whole nation saluted late Dr Pfau for her services and said her great tradition of human service would be kept alive.

In collaboration with the government Pfau expanded leprosy treatment centres in more than 150 cities and towns across Pakistan, training doctors, treating thousands of victims and helping establish a national programme to bring the disease under control.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Dr. Pfau "may have been born in Germany, but her heart was always in Pakistan", the BBC reported.

Pfau first witnessed leprosy, an infectious disease that affects the skin and other organs of the body, in Karachi.

"Dr Pfau's services to end leprosy in Pakistan can not be forgotten". On her way she stopped in Karachi on March 8, 1960, because of some visa problems. In 1996, the World Health Organization declared that leprosy had been controlled in Pakistan, which led Sr.

Tributes poured in from Pakistani luminaries Thursday.

She was honoured with the second highest civilian award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, and Hilal-i-Pakistan in 1979 and 1980 respectively.

Later she joined a Catholic order and eventually came to Pakistan in 1960.

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

The nun founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi in 1962 and later set up its branches in all provinces of Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan, and treated over 50,000 families.

Saddened to learn of Dr Ruth Pfau's passing. She was likewise granted with the Staufer Medal.

Chief of Army Staff Qamar Jawed Bajwa referred to Dr Ruth as an "ambassador of humanity" and said "she will always be remembered" for her services.

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