Memories Of Dr. Wu Lien Teh: Plague Fighter


Wu Yu-lin
2016. Areca Books
Hardcover. 23.5cm x 24.5cm, 185 pages
Fully illustrated
ISBN 9789675719264


Originally published in 1995, this special edition has been reprinted on the occasion of the 2nd Dr Wu Lien-Teh Global Commemorative Symposium held in Penang on the 23rd and 24th of July 2016.

Memories Of Dr. Wu Lien Teh: Plague Fighter is a pictorial biography of one of the most illustrious sons of Malaysia. Dr Wu Lien-teh (1879-1960) was a distinguished scientist and Cambridge-trained Chinese physician who, at the age of 31, was sent to Manchuria in the severe winter of 1910 to fight the terrifying pneumonic plague which then threatened the world and claimed a death-toll of 60,000 victims. The successful ending of this major plague epidemic, covering a distance of 2,000 miles from the north-west border of Siberia to Peking, within a short period of four months, brought him international fame and marked the beginning of almost thirty years of devoted humanitarian service to China.

In 1912 Dr Wu established the Manchurian Plague Prevention Service, and it was on this foundation that he, despite immense difficulties, began to modernise China’s medical services and medical education. Some twenty modern hospitals, laboratories, labs and research institutions, including the Peking Central Hospital, built by Dr Wu in different parts of China are memorials to his work. He founded the Chinese Medical Association and established the first national quarantine service in China. He embarked on arduous work for the League of Nations and became a world authority on plague.

The publication contains more than 200 historically important photographs vividly depicting the medical scenes and anti-plague work in China during the years 1908-37 that came from Dr Wu’s private collection-an extraordinary collection filled with unforgettable images. We hope that this book, written with sensitivity and tenderness will, together with Dr Wu Lien-teh’s autobiography*, inform and inspire generations of medical people on issues of global health and justice.

*Plague Fighter: The Autobiography of a Modern Chinese Physician, originally published by W Helfer & Sons, Cambridge, in 1959 and reprinted by Areca Books in 2014.


  1. Part One: 1879-1908-Parentage. Education. Early Career And First Marriage.
  2. Part Two: 1908-1937-Life And Work In China
  3. Part Three: 1937-1960-Private Life In Later Years
  4. Part Four: Remembrances

About the author: Wu Yu-lin, professionally known as Tai Yu-lin, is the eldest daughter of Dr Wu Lien-teh. Born in Harbin in 1926, she received her early education in Shanghai and university education at the University of Malaya (Singapore), Columbia University (as a Fulbright-Smithmundt Scholar), and University of London.

For further reading:

In 1911, another epidemic swept through China. That time, the world came together

A Malaysian Designed The Original N95 Mask. He Also Stopped A Plague That Killed 60,000

How Malaysian plague fighter Wu Lien-teh laid down lessons for Wuhan virus

Wu Lien-Teh: Malaysia’s little-known plague virus fighter

WU LIEN-TEH The Father of Modern Medicine in China

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Weight 1100 g
Dimensions 23.5 × 24.5 × 1.5 cm


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