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Dr Ruth had been experiencing treatment at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center for two weeks and passed away amid surgery at 12:30am on Wednesday night, said the inside. She left her homeland and made Pakistan her home to serve humanity.

The funeral was scheduled for August 19 in Karachi, said Shariq Zaman, a spokesman for Pfau's charity.

Dr. Ruth Pfau, a German doctor, who led the fight against leprosy in Pakistan died on Wednesday.

She spent the rest of her life in Pakistan and established 157 centres to treat people infected with leprosy and more lately with tuberculosis.

She also was awarded Germany's Order of Merit in 1969. In 1979, the Pakistani government appointed her Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

She "may have been born in Germany, but her heart was always in Pakistan", the country's prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said in a statement Thursday. She felt unfulfilled, however, so she joined a Roman Catholic order, the Society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary. On her way she stopped in Karachi on March 8, 1960, because of some visa problems.

From then onwards she dedicated herself to the fight against the disease, and by 1996 it was declared to have been brought under control.

She was honoured with the second highest civilian award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, and Hilal-i-Pakistan in 1979 and 1980 respectively.

The nun founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi in 1962 and later set up its branches in all provinces of Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan, and treated over 50,000 families.

Dr Pfau, who led a battle against the stigmatised disease of leprosy, passed away early Thursday morning after a long illness. And she ultimately came to enjoy a celebrity in Pakistan on par with another nun known the world over for her work with the sick and the poor: Mother Teresa.

Funeral mass will be held on Sunday, August 19, 2017 at 11am at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Saddened to learn of Dr Ruth Pfau's passing.