State funeral held for Dr Ruth Pfau in Karachi

Goodbye Dr Ruth Pfau

Ruth Pfau had devoted her life to treating leprosy in Pakistan died at the age of 87 years.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah and other high-level officials are to attend the last rites of Pakistan's "Mother Teresa".

A state funeral with full national honours was held in Karachi for Dr Ruth Pfau, a symbol of selflessness and devotion who passed away at the age of 87 earlier this month.

Pfau was draped in a red dress, as wished by her and would be laid o rest shortly with a state funeral.

Her funeral is scheduled to take place at Karachi's St Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday morning.

A gun-salute would be offered on the occasion as well and local administration has devised traffic plan for the day as well.

She also founded the National Leprosy Control Programme in different areas of Pakistan and was also head of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP).

Pfau, who was known locally as Pakistan's Mother Teresa, came to the southern port city of Karachi in 1960 and spent half a century taking care of some of the country's sickest and poorest people.

Dr Pfau's dead body was shifted to Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) from Holy Family Hospital of Karachi, few hours ago and from where it was shifted to St. Peter's Church at 11 am. She attributed her desire to become a doctor and a healer to this experience.

Thanks to the work of Pfau and her center, in 1996, Pakistan was able to bring leprosy under control - one of the first Asian countries to do so. After witnessing the plight of leprosy patients, she made a decision to settle here.

Ainee Shehzad, a member of the MALC board of trustees who worked with Pfau for 25 years, told CNN that she was "one of the most inspirational" people she had ever met. In 1989, she was presented the Hilal-i-Pakistan, the country's second-highest civilian award.

Dr Ruth wrote four books in German about her contribution in Pakistan.



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