ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday authorised the issuance of special Rs50 coins in the honour of late humanitarian Dr Ruth Pfau, the celebrated German-Pakistani doctor who dedicated her life to fighting leprosy in the country.
The decision to issue the commemorative coins was then taken in a cabinet session on Wednesday.
The government authorised the State Bank of Pakistan to issue 50,000 coins worth Rs50 in recognition of Dr Pfau’s service.
The German-Pakistani doctor passed away after a prolonged illness on August 10, 2017, at a private hospital in Karachi. She was 87.
“The entire nation is indebted to Ruth Pfau for her selfless and unmatched services for the eradication of leprosy. We are proud of her exemplary services and she will remain in our hearts as a shining symbol in times ahead,” Prime Minister Abbasi said.
Dr Pfau is the second person to be accorded a state funeral in 29 years. The previous state funeral was offered for late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi in 2016.
Dr Pfau visited Pakistan in the 1960s and ended up staying, adopting Pakistan as her home and dedicating her life to taking care of leprosy patients.
It was due to her endless struggle that Pakistan defeated the disease and became leprosy-free in 1996.
She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988 and received numerous accolades for her services, including the country’s top civilian awards Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Hilal-i-Pakistan.