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Monday, September 17, 2012
Fe del Mundo-Pediatrician with Marinduque Roots
Fe del Mundo,was born on November 27, 1911 and died on August 6, 2011. She was a Filipina pediatrician. The first woman admitted as a student of the Harvard Medical School, she founded the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines. Her pioneering work in pediatrics in the Philippines in an active medical practice that spanned 8 decades] won her international recognition, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1977. In 1980, she was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist of the Philippines while in 2010, she was conferred the Order of Lakandula.
Del Mundo was noted for her pioneering work on infectious diseases in Philippine communities. Undeterred by the lack of well-equipped laboratories in post-war Philippines, she would not hesitate to send specimens or blood samples for analysis abroad. In the 1950s, she pursued studies on dengue fever, a common malady in the Philippines of which little was then yet known. Her clinical observations on dengue, and the findings of research she later undertook on the disease are said to "have led to a fuller understanding of dengue fever as it afflicts the young". She authored over a hundred articles, reviews and reports in medical journals on such diseases as dengue, polio and measles. She also authored "Textbook of Pediatrics", a fundamental medical text used in Philippine medical schools.
Del Mundo was active in the field of public health, with special concerns towards rural communities. She organized rural extension teams to advise mothers on breastfeeding and child care. and promoted the idea of linking hospitals to the community through the public immersion of physicians and other medical personnel to allow for greater coordination among health workers and the public for common health programs such as immunization and nutrition. She called for the greater integration of midwives into the medical community, considering their more visible presence within rural communities. Notwithstanding her own devout Catholicism, she is an advocate of family planning and population control.
Del Mundo was also known for having devised an incubator made out of bamboo, designed for use in rural communities without electrical power. In 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos named del Mundo as a National Scientist of the Philippines, the first Filipino woman to be so-named.
Among the international honors bestowed on del Mundo was the Elizabeth Blackwell Award for Outstanding Service to Mankind, handed in 1966 by Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the citation as Outstanding Pediatrician and Humanitarian by the International Pediatric Association in 1977. Also in 1977, del Mundo was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. On April 22, 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo awarded del Mundo the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Bayani at the Malacañan Palace. Source: Wikipedia
Note: This No.3 of my series of articles on famous Filipinos, pure or with mixed ancestry, living or dead in the field of science, medicine, entertainment, sports, politics or philanthropy. I hope you are proud of their accomplishments whether you have Philippine ancestry or not.