Friday, August 11, 2017

Thank you Dr Ruth

AlJ report:

Tributes pour in after the passing of German nun and doctor who spent 56 years in the country battling leprosy....
Columnist Bina Shah said: "She [Pfau] revolutionised leprosy treatment in Pakistan. Today she went home to her Maker. We'll miss you, Dr. Ruth Pfau. Shukriya and danke schon."
She will have a state funeral.

Leprosy, aka Hansen's disease, is treatable with out patient medications. The problem is that if untreated it leads to deformities.

So the treatment is twofold: One, treat the deformities so thy can return to their families.

but more importantly, run clinics to diagnose early mild cases so they never develop problems.

I am not familiar with the program in Pakistan, but I did know the nun who was running the prevention program in Liberia (with money help from the Knights of Malta).  She and her staff had to travel around to villages to check possible cases and give out  medicine and monitor they were taking the pills correctly.

I wonder if what happened to that program when the country erupted in a terrible civil war in 1980...

and no, I only saw one mild case of Hansen's disease when I worked in Africa, and I left Liberia the week before the country erupted into civil war.

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