Dr. Ruth Pfau’s 90th Birthday Remembrance

On the occasion of Dr. Ruth Pfau’s 90th Birthday, a small ceremony was held at MALC Head Office, Saddar, Karachi – Pakistan, reminiscing her selfless services and the inspiration she brought to many lives.

The ceremony commenced with an introductory speech by Mr. Savio Martin Pereira, Director HR & Administration – MALC, followed by the revival of fond memories of Dr. Pfau with the team throughout Pakistan in the form of a video presentation.

Pir Ali, having spent over 50 years at MALC as a diligent caretaker outpoured his emotion when he was called to reflect on his time spent with Dr. Pfau. He was once affected by Leprosy and was picked up from the streets along with his brother by Dr. Pfau. After he completed his treatment, he was given employment at MALC. He mentioned that “one day during her surprise rounds at the ward in the middle of the night, she found me taking care of the patients and was filled with contentment”, and said “you must receive a reward,” so I replied saying “the work was my reward”. To his surprise, he still received Rs.500/-, and that was a huge amount at that time. Her kind gesture meant a lot to him.

Similarly, Sameena Tabassum, at a tender age when she needed her mother the most, she passed away. She was completely lost under the wave of sadness and was trying to cope with depression. This led to her becoming weak and eventually contracting TB. At MALC, she met Dr. Pfau whom she referred to as a mother. “It was the motivation of Dr. Ruth Pfau and the team, that I was able to complete my treatment, with the confidence instilled that it is an infection which is easily curable. I was inspired by the way she used to deal with people and therefore, decided to give back to the community; I volunteered for a few months at MALC” said Sameena. Dr. Pfau motivated her to complete her studies and provided her with Field Assistant and Junior Leprosy Technician Training. “Like a mother, she would get up in the middle of the night to see if the trainees are getting enough sleep and eating well. Today, I’m married and have a healthy son. I owe my transition from a dull flower which required revival to a bloomed one to none other than Dr. Ruth Pfau” said Sameena.

Dr. Pfau was an epitome of kindness and a great example of humanity. She treated every human equally and with dignity. Her exemplary conduct is carried forward by her team members. In his concluding speech, Mr. Mervyn Lobo – CEO MALC mentioned that the team will continue to work with the same spirit which the founder members: Sr. Berenice Vargas, Mother Doyle,  Dr. Ruth Pfau, Dr. Zarina Fazalbhoy and Sr. Jeannine Geuns had started.