Dr.Ruth Pfau, the lady that defied leprosy; succumbs to mortality

Dr. Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau,87, a German-Pakistani nun and a member of the Society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary who had devoted the last 50 years of life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan, passed away today. In 1996, because of her endeavor Pakistan was the first Asian country that was declared to have controlled leprosy by World Health Organization.


In 1960 Ruth decided to dedicate the rest of her life to the people of Pakistan and their battle against Leprosy outbreaks. She came to Karachi and visited a leprosy colony on McLeod Road behind the City Railway Station. Here she 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 slumquarter. The Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre] was founded and social work for the leprosy patients and their family members was started by Dr. I. K. Gill. A Leprosy Clinic was bought in April 1963 and patients from all over Karachi, Pakistan, and even from Afghanistan came for treatment.

In 1989, she was awarded Pakistan’s highest civil award, Hilal-e Imtiaz in acknowledgment of her prolific work in battling out, creating awareness for leprosy.

Political dignatries, journalists, commoners have paid tribute to this lady, and her services she has rendered to this nation, on Tweeter, as Dr. Ruth Pfau trend is on top twitter list today.