Pfau, 'Mother Teresa of Pakistan,' dies at age 87

In this picture taken on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, a Pakistani hospital worker puts a candle before a picture of Ruth Pfau, a German doctor and nun who devoted her life to the eradication of leprosy in Pakistan, at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre inThe Associated Press
In this picture taken on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, a Pakistani hospital worker puts a candle before a picture of Ruth Pfau, a German doctor and nun who devoted her life to the eradication of leprosy in Pakistan, at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan's prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has announced a state funeral for Ruth Pfau. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Ruth Pfau, a German physician and nun who devoted her life to the eradication of leprosy in Pakistan, has died at age 87.

In a statement, the office of Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced a state funeral for Pfau, known as "Pakistan's Mother Teresa."

Salwa Zainab, a spokeswoman at Pfau's office, said Friday a funeral service will be held Aug. 19 in Karachi, where Pfau died on Thursday.

She said leprosy remained a problem in Pakistan from the 1950s until about 1996 and that Pfau played a key role in efforts by Pakistan and the World Health Organization to bring the disease under control.

Zainab said Pfau was a "beacon of hope for underprivileged" people.