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PM Abbasi announces state funeral for Dr Pfau

PM Abbasi announces state funeral for Dr Pfau

Dr Pfau first visited Pakistan in 1960 and was so touched by the plight of leprosy victims that she chose to stay forever in the country to treat them.

9, 1929, in Leipzig, Germany. What an incredible life she lived in the service of suffering humanity! She felt unfulfilled, however, so she joined a Roman Catholic order, the Society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary.

A symbol of selflessness and dedication to leprosy patients, Dr Ruth Pfau, aged 87, passed away in Karachi on Wednesday night. On her way she stopped in Karachi on March 8, 1960, because of some visa problems.

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

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed his sadness over her death, saying "she may have been born in Germany, but her heart was always in Pakistan". She didn't confine her endeavors to treating leprosy patients but at the same time was of colossal help when Sindh confronted serious flooding. It was here that she became involved with working with people affected by leprosy or Hansen's Disease.

From then onwards she dedicated herself to the fight against the disease, and by 1996 it was declared to have been brought under control. Pfau to the more challenging task of eliminating the disease. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988. After World War II, when Russian Federation occupied East Germany, she and her family, including a brother and four sisters, escaped to West Germany.

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

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.

And she received a number of honors, including, in 1979, Pakistan's second highest civilian award: the Hilal-e-Imtiaz; in 1989 she received the Hilal-e-Pakistan and the German Staufer Medal in 2015.

Her last rites will be performed on August 19 at St. Patrick's Church in Karachi's Saddar area.


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