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Nun-doctor missionary in Pakistan honoured for work with lepers

Dr Ruth Pfau, a Catholic woman religious who led the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Pakistan for many years, has been honoured by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation with the most prestigious prize in Asia in the field of social service.

The Filipinon jury that made the award said Dr Pfau was chosen for "her lifelong dedication to eradicating leprosy and its stigma in Pakistan, and other loving gifts to her adopted country."

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in 1957 to honor the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president.

The Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center in Karachi, directed by Dr Pfau, is the pioneering force behind the Leprosy-Tuberculosis-Blindness Control Program in Pakistan. It is currently intensifying the control of leprosy by specially planned "Regional Elimination Campaigns."

"The Leprosy Team is looking toward a diversified future full of challenges, in which they will utilize their 30-40 years experience of successful work with the community in additional related fields, without forgetting their first and foremost commitment," the religious sister told the APP agency.

In statements to the Pakistani press, Dr. Pfau explained the centre's program for the elimination of leprosy before 2020.

"Stress will be laid on reaching the rehabilitation-targets and especially awareness of the diseases tackled," she said. During 2000, in the rural programs, a total of 153,630 patients were attended to for the major blinding conditions, Dr. Pfau explained.

Dr. Pfau was honored along with five other people from Burma, India, Korea, Nepal and the Philippines. The presentation ceremony was held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Davide, outstanding Asians to receive Magsaysay Awards (Manila Times) Plan to gear up efforts for leprosy control (Dawn 26/7/01)


2 Sep 2002