Google honours Dr Ruth Pfau on 90th birthday

Pakistan’s ‘Mother Teresa’ devoted herself to eradicating leprosy from the country and saved countless lives

News Desk September 09, 2019

Google honoured Dr Ruth Pfau, the late German-Pakistani nun known as Pakistan’s ‘Mother Teresa’, on her 90th birthday with a doodle on Monday.

"Today’s Doodle celebrates Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau, born in Leipzig, Germany on this day in 1929. She devoted herself to eradicating leprosy from Pakistan, saving countless lives," read the description published along with the visual tribute.

"Dr Pfau was inspired to become a nun at age 29 after meeting a concentration camp survivor. While traveling to India, she was waylaid in Pakistan by visa issues and paid a life-changing visit to the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Clinic in Karachi."


Dr Ruth Pfau: The magic healer

She was struck by the plight of one patient in particular: "He must have been my age - I was at this time not yet 30 - and he crawled on hands and feet into this dispensary, acting as if this was quite normal."

Dr Pfau raised funds to refurbish the clinic, building up a network of over 150 modern medical centres, including physiotherapy units, workshops to manufacture artificial limbs, and homes for the handicapped.

She started Pakistan’s first Leprosy Technicians’ course in 1965 and educated the public to combat the stigma associated with the disease.

As a result of her efforts, the World Health Organization declared leprosy under control in Pakistan by 1996 - earlier than most other Asian countries.

Her services were widely recognised and she was awarded Pakistan’s highest civilian awards, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 1979 and Hilal-i-Pakistan in 1989.

She passed away on August 10, 2017, at the age of 87.

 “Not all of us can prevent a war; but most of us can help ease sufferings — of the body and the soul.” Dr Ruth Pfau.



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