Google is tributing to renowned German doctor Dr Ruth Pfau (Pakistani ‘Mother Teresa’) – who gave her life to grub leprosy, leprosy from Pakistan – on her birthday, which off on September 9.
Who was Pakistani ‘Mother Teresa’?
Dr Ruth Pfau is Pakistani ‘Mother Teresa’. Full name is Dr Ruth Katharina Martha Pfau. She was a German-born Christian nun and physician.
She first moved from Germany to Pakistan at the age of 29 in 1960.
The renowned nun devoted 55 years of her life to fighting leprosy – setting up 157 clinics across the country.
The clinics she set up treated more than 56,780 people from the disease.
Also known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection that can now be prevented and cured, but the disease has historically caused sufferers to be stigmatised for disfiguration.
She became a symbol of selflessness and had been hailed as Pakistan’s “Mother Teresa”.
Dr Pfau rescued suffering children who had been confined to caves and cattle pens for years by their parents, who were terrified that they were contagious.
She trained local doctors and even attracted foreign donations, founding Pakistan’s National Leprosy Control Program.
Dr Pfau also founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, which has a presence in every Pakistani province.
As a result of her efforts, the World Health Organisation declared leprosy under control in Pakistan by 1996—earlier than most other Asian countries.
She received many honours for her work, including the Hilal-e-Imtiaz – Pakistan’s second highest civilian award – in 1979.
— German Embassy Islamabad (@GermanyinPAK) September 9, 2019
She wrote four books in German about her work in Pakistan, including “To Light A Candle”, which has since been translated into English.
Dr Pfau died in 2017 at the age of 87 due to respiratory problems.
She refused a life support machine, which made her doctors remove it the next day.
Pfau had been dealing with several health problems due to her old age, including kidney and heart disease, for which she had been receiving treatment for several years.
What does Dr Pfau’s Doodle show?
Artist Alyssa Winans created today’s Google Doodle.
The image shows Dr Pfau tending to a patient with their heads replacing the oo in the Google logo.
What is a Google Doodle?
In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, the art of the Google Doodle was born.
Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.