Dr Ruth Pfau and Leprosy In Pakistan. Google Doodle

Google celebrates 90 birthday of Dr Ruth Pfau who born on 9 September 1929 in Germany but spent her life after 29 in Pakistan fighting against Leprosy and serving humanity. She was German by origin but devoted her all life working in the Marie Adelaide Leprosy clinic in Karachi. Because of her work, she was also known as Mother Teresa of Pakistan.

To pay tribute to her work for mankind, Google showing her memories with a birthday card in Google’s special feature called “Google Doodle“.

Screenshot from Google Doodle Page.

“I could not believe that humans could live in such conditions”

Dr Ruth Pfau

These were the words of Dr Ruth Pfau when she saw a leprosy patient in a Pakistani leper colony in Karachi.
Her heart has gone in so much grief that she devoted her all life to eradicating leprosy from Pakistan. She saved countless lives in her life long mission against this horrible disease.

The journey of Dr Ruth Pfau against Leprosy in Pakistan

Dr Ruth Pfau started her journey when she was 29 and met a concentration camp survivor. She became so inspired that she decided to become a nun and serve mankind. While travelling to India, she was waylaid in Pakistan for visa issues. Meanwhile, during her short stay in Karachi, she had a chance to visit the Marie Adelaide Leprosy clinic. Her visit to this clinic changed her life completely.

“He was as my age. I was not at 30 Yet when I saw this patient in this clinic. He crawled on hands and feet there, as if it was quite normal to him”


Starting off her journey against Leprosy in Pakistan, Dr Ruth Pfau raised funds from locals and people anywhere in the world to refurbish the clinic. Later on during her journey, she built up a network of over 150 medical centres, including physiotherapy, workshops to manufacture artificial limbs and homes for the handicapped. She was the one who started Pakistan’s first Leprosy Technician’s course in 1965. Her purpose was to educate the public to combat the stigma associated with the disease.

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In 1996, the World Health Organisation declared Pakistan a country where Leprosy is under control. It was earlier than most other Asian countries having this disease out of control. And this was all because of the efforts of Dr Ruth Pfau, The mother Teresa of Pakistan.

People of Pakistan and global communities adore the work of Dr Ruth Pfau and compare her with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She received numerous national and international awards for her lifelong service to humanity. She died on 10 August 2017 at the age of 87 in Karachi, Pakistan.


Ramon Magsaysay Award
Hilal-i-Pakistan (1989)
Nishan-i-Quaid-i-Azam (2010)

What is Leprosy Disease

Leprosy is a skin disease caused by a bacterial infection. It is also known as Hansen’s disease. Even though it can be cured and deterred, but it has historically caused its patients to be ostracized and stigmatized for disfiguration. In her lifelong efforts against this disease, Dr Ruth Pfau built 157 Leprosy clinics and treated 56,780 patients.

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