Ruth Pfau, a German doctor renowned in Pakistan for treating leprosy and tuberculosis patients over half a century has died aged 87.
In 2004, on the authority of the Chancellor of Aga Khan University, His Highness the Aga Khan, and the Board of Trustees, honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc), honoris causa was conferred upon Dr Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau at the 17th Convocation in Karachi, Pakistan.
Dr Ruth Pfau, through her exemplary motivational and spirited leadership, made outstanding contributions in the field of leprosy, directed towards the eradication of this disease and effective rehabilitation of victims. She transformed the Marie Adelaide Centre into a hospital facility and established a full service leprosy treatment and rehabilitation centre. The moving spirit behind the National Leprosy Control Programme, Dr Pfau had been instrumental in activating a chain of leprosy control centres across Pakistan.
Recognising her dedicated services, inspiring leadership and her contributions to sustainable leprosy control and rehabilitation initiatives, the Aga Khan University awarded Dr Pfau the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc), honoris causa.
— Adopted from AKU Newsletter: April 2005, Volume 6, Issue 1
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussein described Doctor Pfau’s death as a great loss for the nation in which her clinics strive to save leprosy patients from disfigurement, blindness and social exclusion.
Pfau was known in Pakistan as the “mother of leprosy patients” and was compared by Radio Vatican in 2014 to Mother Teresa, another late Roman Catholic nun revered in India.
Initial reports said Pfau wished to be buried in Karachi, the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh.