Prof Dr Karl Friedrich Schaller was born in 1914 in Lüderitzbucht, a former German colony in the south west of Africa (present day Namibia). He was educated in Germany and studied medicine at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin from 1933 to 1938. He spent a further year studying tropical medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland as an exchange student, and received his licence to practice in Berlin in September 1939.
For the next 6 years he served in the German armed forces as doctor and medical officer. After the war he worked as a doctor in the Lower Saxony public health service from 1945 to 1952. During this time he received a public health officer diploma from the Academy for State Medicine in Hamburg and specialised in dermatology.
From 1952 to 1964 Schaller was a Member of the Medical Advisory Board for the Ministry of Public Health in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Alongside this he held a number of medical posts:
In 1961 he was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit (1st class).
In 1964 he returned to his native Germany to take up the post of Director of the Department of Dermatology at the German Federal Armed Forces Hospital in Hamburg-Wandsbeck. He also acted as a Consultant for the Federal Armed Forces on tropical medical issues, and lectured at the University Skin Hospital and the Institute for Tropical Skin Diseases in Hamburg. He gained a further postdoctoral qualification from the University of Hamburg in 1966 and, in 1971, became both a Professor at the University, and Director of the Ernst Rodenwaldt Institute of the German Federal Armed Forces in Koblenz.
In 1975 he moved again, to Lomé, Togo, where he was both Professor of dermatology at CHU and Medical director of leprosy services for the Ministry of Health. He retained both posts until 1980.
Between 1970 and 1990, Schaller carried out Consultantcy activities for the WHO in Yemen, Tunisia, Laos and Somalia; for GAWI in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo and Ethiopia; and for DAHW (German aid for leprosy and tuberculosis) in Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Togo. He has also worked for the Humboldt foundation and the Goethe institute in Togo, Ghana and Ethiopia.
Schaller has been awarded honorary memberships of a number of international medical societies, and was made Honorary vice president of the International Leprosy Association in 1993.
This entry was created 25 September, 2006.