Web Desk (August 10, 2018): First death anniversary of Dr. Ruth Pfau, commonly known as Pakistani ‘Mother Teresa’, is being observed today.
Dr Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau was born on September 09, 1929. She was a German-born Pakistani physician and the nun of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She moved from Germany to Pakistan and devoted more than 50 years of her life fighting leprosy in Pakistan.In 1960, aged 31, she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to the people of Pakistan and their battle against leprosy outbreaks. While in Karachi, she visited the Lepers’ Colony once and decided that the care of patients would be her life’s calling. She started with medical treatment for the leprosy patients in a hut in this slum. A Leprosy Clinic was bought in April 1963 and patients from all over Karachi, Pakistan, and even from Afghanistan came for treatment.In 1979, she was appointed as the Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Government of Pakistan. Pfau went to distant areas of Pakistan where there were no medical facilities for leprosy patients. She collected donations in Germany and Pakistan and cooperated with hospitals in Rawalpindi and Karachi. In recognition of her service to the country, she was awarded Pakistani citizenship in 1988.In the early morning on 10 August 2017, she died at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi after being admitted there due to respiratory problems on 4 August 2017. She was put on a ventilator after her condition worsened on 6 August, but she refused the life support machine.
Dr Ruth Pfau is well respected by the Muslims in Pakistan. On 23 March 1989, Pfau received the Hilal-i-Pakistan award presented by the then-President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan at the President House for her work with leprosy patients.