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Ruth Pfau dies; German nun dubbed ‘Pakistan’s Mother Teresa’ was 87

German nun Ruth Pfau, seen above in November

German nun Ruth Pfau, seen above in November 2012, was known for her work with those in Pakistan afflicted with leprosy. Credit: AFP/Getty Images / JOHN MACDOUGALL

KARACHI, Pakistan — Ruth Pfau, a German physician and nun who devoted her life to the eradication of leprosy in Pakistan, has died at age 87.

In a statement, the office of Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced a state funeral for Pfau, known as “Pakistan’s Mother Teresa.”

Salwa Zainab, a spokeswoman at Pfau’s office, said Friday a funeral service will be held Aug. 19 in Karachi, where Pfau died on Thursday.

She said leprosy remained a problem in Pakistan from the 1950s until about 1996 and that Pfau played a key role in efforts by Pakistan and the World Health Organization to bring the disease under control.

Zainab said Pfau was a “beacon of hope for underprivileged” people.

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