Dr. Ruth Pfau, is a savior of humanity in Pakistan. She is a symbol of selflessness and devotion to leprosy patients. She dedicated her entire life to the people of Pakistan and their battle against leprosy outbreaks. Dr. Pfau had been living in Pakistan since 1960, and when she came to the country, she was just 29. After she witnessed the sufferings of the Pakistan’s leprosy patients, she decided to stay here. In addition, she traveled to various parts of Pakistan to medically facilitate leprosy patients. 

By starting from the medical treatment for leprosy patients in a hut, she founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center in Karachi, which now has a presence in each province of Pakistan including Gilgit-Baltistan. Moreover, Dr. Pfau treated over 50,000 families and rescued disfigured and suffering children who had been confined to caves and cattle pens for years by their parents who were terrified that they were contagious. She trained Pakistani doctors and attracted foreign donations, and eventually founded Pakistan’s National Leprosy Control Programme. Dr. Pfau was a great humanitarian because of her tireless efforts in helping the victims of devastating 2010 floods. Due to her continued efforts, the World Health Organization declared Pakistan one of the first countries in Asia to have controlled leprosy in 1996. Dr. Pfau’s work earned Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Hilal-e-Pakistan, Ramon Magsaysay Award and Nishan-e-Quaid-e-Azam. 

Widely known as Pakistan’s Mother Teresa, Dr. Ruth Pfau never received the acknowledgement that she had earned and deserved. She tried her best to eradicate leprosy from our country. Dr. Ruth Pfau was a gem of a person, an epitome of kindness and the best example of a human being. Pakistan needs more people like her, but let me mention we never promote such personalities. However, her services will never be forgotten. 

KIRAN FATIMA,  

Islamabad, August 11.