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

KARACHI: Dr Ruth Pfau, who served leprosy patients selflessly with devotion, passed away at the age of 88 here on Thursday morning.

The German nun lost her battle with life while she was undergoing a surgery at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre.

Dubbed as Pakistani ‘Mother Teresa’ for her compassion towards lepers, Dr Ruth Pfau came to Pakistan from Germany in 1960 and dedicated her rest of life to serve people suffering from leprosy.

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

Tributes began pouring in from countrywide dignitaries. President Mamnoon Hussain has expressed deep grief at her demise and paid rich tribute to her services.

“Dr Pfau’s services to end leprosy in Pakistan cannot be forgotten. She left her homeland and made Pakistan her home to serve humanity. Pakistani nation salutes Dr Pfau and her great tradition to serve humanity will be continued,” the President stated.

Born in Leipzig, Germany on September 9, 1929, Dr Pfau devoted the last 50 years of life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan. After escaping Second World War and seeing her younger brother die, she first moved to West Germany and studied medicine at Mainz.

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


Funeral mass will be held on Sunday, August 19, 2017 at 11am at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. She will be laid to rest in the Christian Cemetry (Gora Qabrastan) on same day.

Here is how people reacted to her demise news on Twitter.

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