State funeral for leprosy fighter Dr Ruth Pfau underway in Karachi

State funeral for leprosy fighter Dr Ruth Pfau underway in Karachi

State funeral for leprosy fighter Dr Ruth Pfau underway in Karachi

Attended by dignitaries including Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, this is the second state funeral to take place in Pakistan in 29 years, with the last one accorded to late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi last year.

Dr Pfau's dead body was shifted to Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) from Holy Family Hospital of Karachi, few hours ago and from where it was shifted to St. Peter's Church at 11 am.

Ruth Pfau had devoted her life to treating leprosy in Pakistan died at the age of 87 years.

Dr Ruth Pfau, who is commonly known as "Mother Teresa" of Pakistan for her extensive battle against leprosy, passed away at the age of 87, last week.

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"She is the first person in Pakistan's history of the Christian faith to have a state funeral", said Cecil S. Chaudhry, executive director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had earlier announced a state funeral for Dr Pfau, saying: "The entire nation is indebted to Ruth Pfau for her selflessness and unmatched services for eradication of leprosy".

Personnel of Armed Forces carried the casket, draped in Pakistani flag, containing Dr Ruth Pfau's body into St. Patrick's Cathedral.

She also founded the National Leprosy Control Programme in different areas of Pakistan and was also head of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP).

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With her remarkable journey, Pakistan was rewarded as the first country from Asia to have control over Leprosy in 1996 by World Health Organization. As cases of leprosy dropped throughout the country, she turned her attention to tuberculosis. She attributed her desire to become a doctor and a healer to this experience.

"There is no one like her and there won't be any replacement to her". In 1989, Dr Pfau was presented the Hilal-i-Pakistan for her services.

That dedication to heal brought Pfau honors from all over the world, including from Pakistan, her adopted homeland. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988.

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