By Wu Lien-Teh.
Known as the ‘Plague Fighter’ and ‘the man who beat the Black Death’, Dr. Wu Lien-Teh (1879—1960) laid the foundations of the modern medical service in China. The son of a Taishan migrant from China, he was born in Penang and attended the Penang Free School. Winning a Queen’s scholarship, he became the first medical student of Chinese descent to be educated at Cambridge, where he graduated from Emmanuel College with string of prizes. Returning to Malaya, he undertook research into the debilitating beriberi disease and engaged in social reforms, founding the Anti-Opium Society. It was in northern China that he cemented his global fame, working to curtail the spread of Manchurian Plague which claimed over 60,000 lives in 1910-1911. He became the first president of the Chinese Medical Association and served as physician extraordinary to successive presidents of China. He established some twenty medical institutions in China including Harbin Medical College, Peking Central Hospital and the National Quarantine Service, Shanghai. He co-authored the acclaimed History of Chinese Medicine (1932) and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1935. He spent his later life in his native Malaya — first in Ipoh, and then in Penang — and his death made headlines around the world.
First published in 1959, this edition of Wu Lien-Teh’s autobiography, reprinted for the Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society, Penang, will acquaint a new generation of readers with this great man’s life and work.
In the News
“Dr Wu spent time training in the top bacteriological labs, and was the foremost expert on plague in the world, up till the late 1930s,” David Luesink, assistant professor in East Asian History at the University of Pittsburgh.
Read the full article on David Luesink’s Talk about Dr Wu Lien Teh in The Star Online HERE!
Table of Contents
Aftermath of the Plague
Fundamentals of Pneumonic Plague Research
Three Pneumonic Plague Epidemics Compared
Childhood and Schooldays
Cambridge and St. Mary’s
First Impressions of Europe
First Return to Malaya
Introduction to Chinese Official Life
The Revolution and its Consequences
Medical Progress Despite Chaos
Manchurian Plague Prevention Service
National Quarantine Service
Anti-Cholera and Other Health Campaigns
Building Hospitals in China
The Narcotic Problem
Missionary Efforts in China
Attending International Conferences
Observations on Various Lands
Chinese versus Western Medical Practice
Malaya and Malayans
Be Contented—Live Long
Appendix A: List of the delegates attending the International Plague Conferences
Appendix B: List of Important Publications of the Manchurian Plague Prevention Service
Appendix C: National Quarantine Servie Reports
Index of Chinese Persons
Index of Non-Chinese Persons
Obituary, The Times, 27 January 1960
About The Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society
WU LIEN-TEH The Father of Modern Medicine in China (Penang Monthly, Nov 2019)