'Light to the Lepers' Ruth Pfau dies in Pakistan

Dr Ruth Pfau ” Pakistani Mother Teresa” has passed away

Dr Ruth Pfau ” Pakistani Mother Teresa” has passed away

Dr Ruth had been undergoing treatment at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre for two weeks and passed away during surgery at 12:30am on Wednesday night, said the centre.

Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi announced his government would give Pfau a state funeral to honour her for "selfless and unmatched" services to Pakistan.

The funeral was scheduled for August 19 in Karachi, said Shariq Zaman, a spokesman for Pfau's charity.

German nun Ruth Pfau, who dedicated more than 50 years of her life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan, died on Thursday in Karachi aged 87.

In his condolence message, Hussain said that Dr. Pfau had left her homeland and settled in Pakistan to serve humanity.

"Dr Pfau's services to end leprosy in Pakistan can not be forgotten".

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Dr. Pfau, the founder of National Leprosy Control Programme was in charge of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP), where leprosy patients were treated. But a visa problem kept her in Karachi, where she went on to live for 57 years. By 1996, the World Health Organization declared that leprosy had been controlled in Pakistan.

Her death drew messages of condolences from all sections of Pakistani society, with many comparing her passing to that of the philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who passed away past year. She became known as the Mother Theresa of Pakistan, a reference to Mother Theresa of India, the nun and missionary who became a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

She was honoured by the state with the country's two highest civilian awards, the Hilal-e-Imtiaz and the Hilal-e-Pakistan.

The funeral mass will be held on August 19 at St Patrick's Cathedral, and thereafter will be laid to rest in the Christian Cemetery (Gora Qabristan).

"With great concern we have got the sad massage of the death of Dr Ruth Pfau".

And as Pfau told the BBC, she never forgot that young man she met on her first stay in Karachi, the patient who crawled toward her in the dirt because he'd been convinced there was nothing more for him than that.

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