Life of plague fighter Dr Wu showcased in Harbin museum

By Channel NewsAsia’s China Correspondent Wong Yee Fong | Posted: 13 September 2008 0035 hrs

BEIJING : The life and work of Malaysia-born plague fighter Dr Wu Lien-Teh have been immortalised in a museum in Harbin, where he had dedicated 22 years of his medical career.

Dr Wu, who has been featured in a Channel NewsAsia documentary, is known for his work in battling infectious diseases, including a pneumonic plague that claimed 60,000 lives in China in 1910.

But little was known about him until a SARS survivor came across his work while researching about infectious diseases.

Dr Wu’s memorial stands on his former research facility, a century-old building. It was set up by Harbin Medical University, which he founded in 1926.

Du Yuxin, Harbin Party Secretary, said: “Dr Wu made a major contribution to the city of Harbin. Thousands of families were saved from the plague, thanks to his leadership and dedication in the fight against the disease.”

Gu Yingqi, former Chinese Vice Minister of Health, said: “His story has great educational value. His legacy will certainly serve as an inspiration for future generations of Chinese.”

A documentary produced by Channel NewsAsia – “Plague Fighter Dr Wu Lien-Teh” – is also screened regularly in the Memorial Hall.

However, one does not have to go all the way to Harbin learn more about Dr Wu. His former residence in Beijing is also preserved in a “hutong” (alley).

It is hoped that more people will get to know about the man who changed the course of China’s medical history. – CNA/ms

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