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(2017-08-19) In recognition of her selfless devotion to eradicating Leprosy in Pakistan, especially amongst the economically disadvantaged, Dr. Ruth Pfau was buried with full state honors in Karachi today. She breathed her last on August 10, 2017. Born in Germany, Dr. Pfau made Pakistan her home and was a proud Pakistani. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi had announced a state funeral for Dr. Pfau. The last rites of Dr. Pfau were performed at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi in presence of the President of Pakistan. Dr. Pfau’s casket, draped in the national flag of Pakistan,was given a 19-gun salute, with contingents of all three armed forces present on the occasion. Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that Dr. Ruth Pfau (late) will be remembered for her exceptional love, dedication and selflessness for the people of Pakistan.

Being the Patron of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC), she committed her entire life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan. She was awarded numerous national and international awards, including the highest civil awards of “Hilal-e-Imtiaz” and “Hilal-e-Pakistan,” in recognition of her meritorious services to the nation.

Dr. Pfau’s indefatigable efforts to eradicate leprosy in Pakistan included: (i) establishing leprosy treatment centers in more than 150 cities and towns across the country; (ii) treating thousands of patients suffering from the disease; (iii) training doctors to effectively tackle the disease; and (iv) helping Pakistan establish a National Program for bringing this disease under control. Due to her untiring and dedicated efforts, Pakistan was declared a leprosy free country by the World health organization in 1996.

The entire Pakistani nation pays homage to Dr. Pfau’s extraordinary work. She will always be fondly remembered. We have lost a national hero.

May she rest in eternal peace.

19 August 2017

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