Memories of Dr Wu Lien-Teh Plague Fighter -Excerpt

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Dr Wu Lien-Teh was a Penang-born Cambridge-trained physician and scientist. In 1910, he was sent to Manchuria on a harsh winter’s day to combat the pneumonic plague that claimed over 60,000 lives. Dr Wu’s role in eradicating the disease was undoubtedly a phenomenal feat in Chinese medical history. In 1912, Dr Wu established the Manchurian Plague Prevention Service. He began to modernise China’s hospitals and came to be regarded as the founding father of modern medical services, medical education and public health in China.

This upcoming publication is done in honour of Dr Wu Lien-Teh and his daughter, Wu Yu-Lin. It was the latter who gave permission to Penang’s Wu Lien-Teh Society to reprint the book in collaboration with Areca Books. Subsequently, this version carefully preserves every detail of the former edition including the more than 200 historically important photographs vividly depicting the medical scenes and anti-plague work in China during the years 1908 – 1937 acquired from Dr Wu’s private collection which comprises an extraordinary collection of unforgettable images. A prior version of this book was first published by Singapore’s World Scientific Publishing Company in 1995.

Written with sensitivity and tenderness, Dr Wu’s pictorial biography is a worthy companion to his autobiography Plague Fighter: The Autobiography of a Modern Chinese Physician, published by W Heffer & Sons, Cambridge, in 1959 and reprinted in 2014.