Wurzburg/Karachi, 5 December 2021 (TDI): The 60-year partnership between the DAHW German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Aid and the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center (MALC) anniversary celebration held in the premises of the German Embassy Karachi, on the 2nd of December.
Holger Ziegeler, German Consul General in Karachi, Joseph Cardinal Coutts, long-time chairman of the MALC, as well as MALC managing director Mervin Lobo, and DAHW managing director Burkard Komm attended the ceremony.
Henceforth, appreciation of the MALC itself commemorates the successful collaboration in the fight against leprosy and other poverty-related diseases.
The ceremony started with the recitation as per MALC’s norm, from three Holy Books. Holger Ziegeler underlined the contribution of MALC in sustaining those lives who are at the periphery of dying and treating diseases apart from Tuberculosis and Leprosy.
DAHW and MALC Partnership
In 1960, the nun and Dr. Ruth Pfau (1929-2017) initially started tackling and fighting against leprosy in Pakistan and was looking for supporters from sponsors. The founder and president Hermann Kober of DAHW, German Leper Aid Organization in Wurzburg, found that Dr. Pfau and women work hard to solve leprosy problems in Pakistan.
However, an equivalent long-term close cooperation on equal terms started, characterized by mutual respect and the common goal of supporting people in poverty and enabling them to live in nobility.
Many employees in Pakistan, under the leadership of the charismatic Germans, remained committed to fighting against poverty-related diseases. It was possible to manage thousands of people affected by leprosy and to expand activities from Karachi across the entire country.
Today there are 157 MALC centers in Pakistan, and it has set a national training institute for leprosy technicians in Karachi.
It did not limit the support to the leprosy activities. Other poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis were added to the repertoire.
In addition, the socio-economic needs of patients are still the focus today. The reduction of stigmatization through various awareness-raising campaigns. Even in times of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or the current COVID-19 pandemic, the MALC, with the support of DAHW, always stood up for the underprivileged communities and marginalized people.
Burkard Komm, CEO of DAHW, remarked on the charisma of Dr. Pfau, and the support of the Pakistani team in working tirelessly to help abandoned people.
He also conceded the services of Founder Member of MALC, Dr. Zarina Fazelbhoy, who was the first Pakistani to join Dr. Pfau on the occasion of this mission.
Furthermore, he said, “Today we proudly look back on 60 years of partnership. And we can still see how the people in Germany help and support this work.”
CEO of MALC, Mervyn Lobo, confessed the importance of Germany’s support in countering Leprosy in Pakistan. While concluding, he quoted one of Dr. Pfau’s sayings “each one of us can contribute towards making lives of people around us better”.
The mission of DAHW is to focus on a person who is excluded from society because of his or her illness and who has no access to adequate health care. It is active in fighting against leprosy and tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer, Chagas’ disease, Yaws, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and also in the field of humanitarian aid.
MALC is perpetrated to abolish Leprosy and control TB and blindness, in leprosy-affected areas of Pakistan, through comprehensive care. In the communities, social justice and access to education and health services are the key priorities. The person is always the center of concern in MALC.