Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' Dr Ruth Pfau laid to rest in Karachi

Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' Dr Ruth Pfau laid to rest in Karachi

Mourners on Saturday attended a state funeral for Ruth Pfau, a German physician and nun who earned worldwide acclaim as "Pakistan's Mother Theresa" by devoting her life to the eradication of leprosy in the Muslim-majority nation.

Pfau, who was rightly credited for eradicating leprosy from Pakistan wished that she should not be put on a ventilator, probably for living a natural life, how long it was. Mourners have attended a state funeral of Ruth Pfau, a German physician and nun who earned worldwide acclaim by devoting her life to the eradication of leprosy in Pakistan. After witnessing the plight of leprosy patients, she made a decision to settle here.

The president arrived at the Christian Cemetery here to attend the state funeral ceremony and laid a wreath at her grave.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had earlier announced a state funeral for Dr Pfau, saying: "The entire nation is indebted to Ruth Pfau for her selflessness and unmatched services for eradication of leprosy".

Army troops and others load the casket wrapped in Pakistani flag, of Ruth Pfau, a German physician and nun, into a vehicle to transport it for her funeral in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.

A gun-salute would be offered on the occasion. Dr Ruth Pfau was awarded numerous national and global awards, including the highest civil awards of "Hilal-e-Imtiaz" and "Hilal-e-Pakistan", in recognition of her meritorious services to the nation.

A member of staff at Dr Pfau's national leprosy centre, Yasmeen Morris, said her death was "a big loss to humanity". She has treated over 50,000 patients.

In 1996, the World Health Organisation declared that leprosy had been controlled in Pakistan, which led Pfau to the more challenging task of eliminating the disease.

In 1979, she was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian award of the country.

Dr Pfau also actively took part in rehabilitation work when Sindh was hit by floods in 2010.

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