Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pakistan holds state funeral for German nun widely known as 'Mother Teresa'

Pakistan holds state funeral for German nun widely known as 'Mother Teresa'

Mourners paid their last respects as Pfau's coffin was carried to the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre that she founded before being taken on to St. Patrick's Cathedral for the official service.

"There is no one like her and there won't be any replacement to her".

Her efforts meant that in 1996 the disease was declared to have been brought under control.

Dr Pfau witnessed leprosy in Pakistan for the first time while working as a medical missionary in the 1960s. When that region of Germany fell under Soviet occupation after the Second World War, her family escaped to West Germany, where she studied medicine at the University of Mainz.

Pfau, who was rightly credited for eradicating leprosy from Pakistan wished that she should not be put on a ventilator, probably for living a natural life, how long it was. Dr Ruth Pfau was awarded numerous national and global awards, including the highest civil awards of "Hilal-e-Imtiaz" and "Hilal-e-Pakistan", in recognition of her meritorious services to the nation.

She also received Hilal-i-Pakistan award for her work with leprosy patients in 1989.

Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' Ruth Pfau laid to rest in Karachi
Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' Dr Ruth Pfau laid to rest in Karachi

Women stand next to large portrait of Ruth Pfau, a German physician and nun, at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center where army troops prepare to transport Pfau's body for a funeral in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.

Pakistan suffered high rates of leprosy up until the 1990s.

Last rites of Pakistan's "Mother Teresa" Dr Ruth Pfau will be held today in Karachi with full state honours.

"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", he said.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar wrote: "Her selfless and unmatched service to humanity will be remembered and she will remain in our hearts as Shining Star".

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