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May 1946–, Country of birth: People’s Republic of China
Professor Yiqun Wu is a key figure in the prevention of lead poisoning, a problem of epidemic proportion in China. She proposed a national prevention strategy for childhood lead poisoning to the government, including training courses, and publication of educational materials. “Our problem is similar to the conditions Alice Hamilton described in Chicago over 80 years ago.”
With China’s political and economic changes are concomitant health risks associated with developing nations, as well as lifestyle disease and risks from industrial pollution and imported waste.
Wu established the first national poison control centre in China, and directed the biological monitoring programme with a network of 125 provincial laboratories. As a chemist, she validated biological exposure indicators for several chemical compounds.
“China has many environmental problems accompanying industrialization, but the release of environmental lead may well be the worst problem we have yet faced.”
She helped launch an AIDS Prevention Project between China and Britain. More than one million HIV cases are estimated in 31 Chinese provinces and autonomous regions.
She is now Executive Deputy Director of China’s private, non-profit ThinkTank Research Center for Health Development, working with Chen Chunming. Wu also serves as Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.