Pakistan state funeral for nun who helped eradicate leprosy
August 10 2017 05:45 PM
German-born nun Ruth Pfau is seen in this file photo.


Ruth Pfau, a German nun who helped Pakistan eradicate leprosy and who died on Thursday aged 87 in the southern city of Karachi, is to receive a state funeral.
Pfau breathed her last at a hospital affiliated with her Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, said Salwa Zainab, a spokeswoman for the charity.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced his government would give Pfau a state funeral to honour her for "selfless and unmatched" services to Pakistan.   
State funerals are usually only given to soldiers who are killed in war and heads of state or government.
The funeral was scheduled for August 19 in Karachi, said Shariq Zaman, a spokesman for Pfau's charity. 
Pfau moved to Pakistan in 1960 and devoted her life to treating leprosy patients across the country, Zainab said.
She spent the rest of her life in Pakistan and established 157 centres to treat people infected with leprosy and more lately with tuberculosis.
It was because of her efforts that the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Pakistan one of the first countries in Asia to be free from leprosy.
Now her charity also runs projects in Afghanistan to train health workers.
Pfau served as an adviser to the Pakistani government for the eradication of leprosy between 1975 and 1980. Her contributions were acknowledged through some of the country's highest civilian awards in the 1980s and 90s.

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