Pakistan's answer to Mother Teresa, Ruth Pfau, dies

Mother Teresa’ of Pakistan Dr. Ruth Pfau

Pfau, who died Thursday at the age of 87, soon returned to Karachi after her brief stint in India.

"Dr. Ruth came to Pakistan here at the dawn of a young nation, looking to make lives better for those afflicted by disease, and in doing so, found herself a home", Abbasi added.

State funerals are usually only given to soldiers who are killed in war and heads of state or government. Doctor originally from Germany shifted to Pakistan in 1960 and started her fight against leprosy resulted in end of disease in Pakistan.

It was after the horrors of World War II in her native Germany that Pfau made a decision to dedicate her life to serving humanity, becoming a doctor and joining the Daughters of the Heart of Mary order, founded during the French Revolution.

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

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. She felt unfulfilled, however, so she joined a Roman Catholic order, the Society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary.

She is to be buried on Sunday at a Christian cemetery in Karachi, Pakistan.

Here is how people reacted to her demise news on Twitter. She then returned to Karachi to organize and expand the Leprosy Control Programme.

"Well if it doesn't hit you the first time, I don't think it will ever hit you", she told the BBC in 2010. Her burial service will be on August 19 in St Patrick's Cathedral, at 11 am.

Columnist Bina Shah said: "She [Pfau] revolutionised leprosy treatment in Pakistan".

And she received a number of honors, including, in 1979, Pakistan's second highest civilian award: the Hilal-e-Imtiaz; in 1989 she received the Hilal-e-Pakistan and the German Staufer Medal in 2015.

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