FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Ruth Pfau
Updated:Aug 10, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
When Dr Ruth Pfau came to Pakistan from West Germany in 1960 as part of a congregation of nuns known as the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, she hadn’t intended to stay for a long time. She was only here for a medical service for students before heading to India. She ended up making Pakistan home for the next 58 years, until her death at the age of 87, becoming a citizen of the country and winning a place in all our hearts. She knew this was going to be her home all those decades ago when she saw the severe suffering of leprosy patients here. Pfau travelled up and down the country treating leprosy patients and set up the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi. So committed was she to her work that by 1996 Pakistan was the first country in the region to have controlled leprosy. 
 
Under her tutelage, the MALC became one of the best run hospitals in the country. It provided free treatment and medication to all leprosy patients, had after-care services and even employed many former patients so that they could be reintegrated into society. Above all, she taught us all about the humanity of those who suffer from this crippling disease. No one has done more than Dr Ruth Pfau to remove the stigma that has often been attached to leprosy patients. on Thursday When Dr Ruth Pfau came to Pakistan from West Germany in 1960 as part of a congregation of nuns known as the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, she hadn’t intended to stay for a long time. She was only here for a medical service for students before heading to India. She ended up making Pakistan home for the next 58 years, until her death for Dr Ruth Pfau; the state will do itself an honour by doing that for a woman who dedicated her whole life to Pakistan. 
 
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Pfau. She would often be threatened due to her work for female leprosy patients in remote parts of the country. Help from the government would be scarce and donations weren’t always forthcoming. Pfau, never one to suffer an excess of pride or devotion to materialism, sold many of the countless awards she was given to fund the MALC. She also founded the National Leprosy Control Programme which treated those suffering from leprosy and tuberculosis. After the flooding in 2010, she was one of the first to reach the scene to help the victims. Her selflessness and the efficiency with which she ran the MALC eventually led the government to provide the hospital with free electricity and pharmaceutical companies would give the MALC free medication for its patients. Along with Abdul Sattar Edhi she became the beating heart and conscience of Pakistan. With her passing, Pakistan has lost one of its greatest citizens. The best tribute we can pay to her is to continue her life’s work. There are still about 500 new cases of leprosy a year and we owe it to Ruth Pfau to finally achieve her ambition of completely eradicating this disease. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has announced a state funeral
 
The News, August 11, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Morocco go back a millennium with the first recorded links dating to the 14th century, when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India.
 
read-more
Stepping up action against terrorists attacking India, President Donald Trump's Administration has declared Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) a “global terrorist organisation” in an attempt to choke off financial and other support to it.
 
read-more
On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
read-more
The Doklam stand-off and a variety recent opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers draws attention to the poor state of defence policy preparedness and the lack of meaningful higher defence control in India. 
 
read-more
The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.
 
read-more
At the root of the present Doklam crisis is China’s intrusion into Bhutanese territory for its road building projects. These connectivity projects are integral to President Xi Jinping’s dream project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum
 
read-more
Come October, America’s crude war of revenge on Afghanistan will enter its seventeenth year.
 
read-more
A vast majority of countries want to eliminate the existential threat of nuclear catastrophe, and rightly so. But achieving a world free of nuclear weapons is easier said than done, and there is a risk that some attempts to do so could prove self-defeating.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive