Today marks the 90th birth anniversary of Ruth Pfau

Dr. Ruth Katharina Martha Pfau, a German nun who dedicated her life to eradicating leprosy in Pakistan. Her services provided hope and relief to thousands of leprosy patients who were even driven out of their homes by their families.

Nevertheless, it was Ruth Pfau, who not only controlled leprosy in Pakistan but also conquered the hearts of Pakistanis. And because of her exemplary services, she is also known as the Mother Teresa of Pakistan.

Dr. Pfau was born in Leipzig in 1929 and saw her home destroyed by bombing during World War II. She studied medicine and was sent to Pakistan in 1960 by the Daughters of The Hearts of Mary (a congregation of nuns for the medical service for students).

In Pakistan, she became aware of leprosy and thus, decided to settle here. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988. It is said, that she may have been born in Germany, but her heart was always in Pakistan.

Due to her selfless efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared leprosy under control in Pakistan in 1996. In 1979, she was honoured with the second-highest civilian award of the country, Hilal-e-Imtiaz, and in 1989 she was presented with Hilal-e-Pakistan for her services.

Today, Pakistan remembers her on her 90th birth anniversary. The tech giant Google also pays homage to Dr. Ruth Pfau. Here’s a doodle depicting the German-Pakistani doctor.