KARACHI – Dr Ruth Pfau, who is commonly known as ‘Mother Teresa’ of Pakistan for her extensive battle against leprosy, passed away on Thursday after a long illness. She was 87.
Dr Pfau, 87, who was suffering from complications related to old age, had been admitted to the Aga Khan Hospital two weeks ago where her condition was pronounced unstable.
Hailing from Germany, Dr Pfau had been staying in Pakistan since 1960, when she was just 29, dedicating her life to cure patients of leprosy.
She also founded the National Leprosy Control Programme in different areas of Pakistan and was also head of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP). She has treated over 50,000 patients.
It was due to her efforts that the World Health Organisation (WHO) finally declared Pakistan a leprosy-free country in 1966.
Pakistani government honoured her with the Hilal-e-Pakistan in 1989 and Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 1979. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988.
Dr Pfau also actively took part in rehabilitation work when Sindh was hit by floods in 2010.