MALC Hosts 70th World Leprosy Day At Karachi

Dr. Ruth KM Pfau was a true inspiration to everyone who knew her, the CM recalled, adding that she dedicated her entire life to our nation.

MALC Hosts 70th World Leprosy Day At Karachi

Speaking at a 70th World Leprosy Day event hosted by the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) on Thursday at a hotel in Karachi, Sindh’s chief minister praised amazing achievement in forging such an outstanding example of a long-standing partnership and cooperative efforts toward leprosy control in Pakistan.

Mervyn Lobo, CEO of MALC, German Ambassador Alfred Grannas, German Consul General Dr. Rudiger Lotz, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Qasim Soomro, Special Assistant to the CM Sadiq Memon, Health Secretary Zulfiqar Shah, and many others were present at the event.

MALC and the provincial health department were commended by CM for successfully eradicating leprosy in Pakistan by 1996. According to CM, the leprosy control program began as a partnership between the health department and the MALC in the 1960s.

Well before the international organization’s target of the year 2000, they made Pakistan the first country in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region Office where leprosy had been controlled in 1996, he continued.

The CEO of MALC spoke at the event, saying, “It is indeed a great honour and privilege for me to be here on this auspicious occasion of the 70th World Leprosy Day.”

According to him, World Leprosy Day offers us a chance to remember those who have endured leprosy, spread awareness of the condition, demand an end to the stigma associated with it, and show our appreciation for the dedication of millions of workers, professionals, and donors, including the WHO, in the fight against it.

Due to Sindh’s high leprosy burden, he continued, now would be the ideal time to implement this year’s theme, “Act now and End Leprosy.”

Dr. Ruth KM Pfau was a true inspiration to everyone who knew her, the CM recalled, adding that she dedicated her entire life to our nation, particularly to the underprivileged leprosy patients. “It is impossible to express the magnitude of her efforts. “She was a symbol of humanity and interreligious harmony, so her death was a great loss for everyone, not just Pakistan but the entire world.”

He claimed that in order to preserve her legacy, her team has been working enthusiastically and branching out into new fields such as eye care, mother and child healthcare, community-based inclusive development, and tuberculosis.

He expressed gratitude to the German people for their generous support of a humanitarian cause for more than 60 years. It is true that Pakistan and Germany have a long history and close ties.

The German ambassador, according to CM, demonstrated how much he cares about Pakistan’s people and the leprosy program. Drs. Saunderson and Fastinau were also thanked for travelling to Pakistan to support our national program to meet international standards.

The CM claimed that his administration is constantly working to improve and expand the nation’s healthcare system. He continued by mentioning the numerous health issues Pakistan is currently dealing with, TB being among the worst.

“I am happy to learn that the MALC is joining forces with the provincial TB program, and I have no doubt that, like leprosy, TB will soon be under control in the nation.”

To honor Dr. Ruth, who devoted her life to the treatment of the poor people affected by leprosy, a brief documentary was also aired, with Abida Parveen singing “Dhoondo Gay Agar Mulkon Mulkon” in the background. A collection of images from the beginning of her services in Karachi to her funeral and burial were used in the documentary to honor her contributions.