KARACHI: Dr Ruth Pfao, the messiah for Pakistani lepers, passed away early Thursday morning after a long illness at the age of 87.
She was born in Germany, came to Pakistan in the 1960s and dedicated her life to caring for patients suffering from leprosy. Often dubbed Pakistan’s Mother Teresa, Dr Pfau was the founder of the National Leprosy Control Programme in Pakistan and in charge of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP), where leprosy patients are treated.
It was due to the endless struggle of Dr Pfau that Pakistan defeated the disease and became leprosy-free in 1996. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988 and received numerous accolades for her services.
Dr Pfau had been hospitalised at a private hospital in Karachi for two weeks due to age-related illnesses, where her condition had been worsening.
According to MASP CEO Dr Lobo, Dr Pfau had been admitted to the ICU of a private hospital after her health deteriorated earlier.
Funeral prayers will be held at St Patrick’s Church on August 19.