The private residence of the late Dr. Ruth Pfau, a physician and nun who had devoted her life to fighting leprosy, has been converted into a museum showcasing her personal possessions.

According to a report aired by a private news channel, the decision to convert the German-born Pakistani humanitarian's quarters, located within Karachi's Mary Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC), into Dr. Ruth Pfau Museum was taken to recognise her more than half-a-century-long efforts to eliminate leprosy in Pakistan.

Dr. Pfau, who passed away last year in Karachi at the age of 87, was given a state funeral. Since then, efforts have been made to preserve her belongings.

Mohamad Iqbal, who has been collecting Dr. Pfau's personal articles for the museum, says the process took over a month.

"There were many articles that were present in various departments, so to collect those and bring them together at one place took some time", he said.

"Following her death, we thought about converting her private quarters into a museum, MALC CEO Mervyn Lobo added. "Whatever items that reminded us of her, including her possessions, are showcased here for every one to see."

A guest book has also been placed at the museum for visitors to share their memories and comments.

A remarkable legacy

Dr Pfau, who was German by birth, had been sent to Pakistan in 1960 by the Daughters of the Heart of Mary — a congregation of nuns that she was a member of — for a medical service for students.

After witnessing the plight of leprosy patients, she decided to settle here. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988.

In 1979, she was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian award of the country. In 1989, Dr Pfau was presented the Hilal-i-Pakistan for her services.

Due to Dr Pfau's persistent and selfless efforts, Pakistan was declared 'leprosy-free' in 1996 by the World Health Organization.


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