In December 2021, the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center (MALC) celebrated 60 years of partnership with German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Aid (DAHW). The event was marked with an anniversary celebration at the German Embassy Karachi.
The History of the Partnership
The nun Dr Ruth Pfau initially began tackling leprosy in Pakistan in 1960, seeking support from sponsors. The founder and then-president of DAWH, Hermann Kober, heard about the work of Dr Pfau and, keen to assist, a partnership was born, based on a commitment to supporting people in poverty and enabling them to live with dignity.
The partnership between MALC and DAWH has resulted in help being made available to thousands of people affected by leprosy, and activities were expanded from Karachi to encompass the entire country. Today, there are 157 MALC centers in Pakistan, and the organization has established a national training institute for Karachi-based leprosy technicians. The partnership’s activities also now include support for those suffering with tuberculosis and other poverty-related diseases.
Awareness-raising campaigns have served to reduce stigma around these diseases, and MALC – with the support of DAWH – represents marginalized communities and underprivileged people even during times of disaster, such as those posed by earthquakes, floods and the pandemic.
For more information about the work of MALC and DAWH, take a look at the embedded PDF.
The Anniversary Ceremony
German Consul General in Karachi Holger Ziegeler hosted the anniversary ceremony, along with MALC Chairman Joseph Cardinal Coutts and the managing directors of MALC and DAWH.
The celebration began with a recital from three holy books and a welcome address given by Holger Ziegeler followed. The address discussed MALC’s contribution to saving the lives of those with leprosy and tuberculosis and other poverty-related conditions.
The CEO of DAWH Burkard Koemm made a speech in which he highlighted Dr Pfau’s charisma and acknowledged the contribution of Dr Zarina Fazelboy, one of the founding members of MALC. Mr Koemm also unveiled a new painting of Dr Pfau by the German artist Rita Lausberg.
The CEO of MALC, Mervyn Lobo, then spoke about the importance of Germany’s support in tackling leprosy in Pakistan, while also recognizing the collective spirit of all the contributors to the organizations’ cause. Following this, Cardinal Joseph Coutts delivered a speech, after which Savio Pereira, the director of HR and administration at MALC, presented the vote of thanks.