Thursday, September 27, 2012


                                                (November 27, 1911 - August 6, 2011)

Dr. Fe Del Mundo, has been the epitome of a true pediatrician who had spent most of her life taking care of Filipino children as well as educating and training future pediatricians who would be armed with the knowledge, wisdom and skills in whatever area they choose to practice. The English translation of her full name, “Faith of the World”, would signify her belief in the capabilities of Filipino pediatricians to excel worldwide.
Born on November 27, 1911 in Manila, Dr. Del Mundo has lived with her family right across the Manila Cathedral. She was christened Fe. She graduated valedictorian at the University of the Philippines in 1933 and received the award as the "Most Outstanding Scholar in Medicine”. She went to the United States and completed her Pediatric courses A, B and C at Harvard Medical College in 1937 through a Fellowship Grant from the Commonwealth of the Philippines. She is the first Filipino woman, and the first female, to be enrolled at Harvard Medical School. She also studied and trained at Columbia University, University of Chicago, Boston University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned an M.A. degree in Bacteriology from Boston University in 1940.

In 1957, Dr Del Mundo returned home and established the Children’s Memorial Hospital on Banawe, Quezon City which is the first Pediatric hospital in the Philippines. The hospital was later renamed Fe del Mundo Medical Center Foundation, where she served as the hospital president and chief pediatrician for more than 50 years.
Dr. del Mundo was founder of Children's Home in Manila and the Institute of Maternal and Child Health. She was the first Filipino Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics, the first lady president of the Philippine Pediatric Society, the founder and first president of the Philippine Woman's Medical Association, the first woman to be elected president of the Philippine Medical Association in it's 65-year history, and the first Asian to be voted president of the Medical Woman's International Association.
She was also the first Filipina national scientist to be recognized due to her invention – a makeshift incubator. The innovative incubator was made of bamboo which was used in rural areas without electricity, a cloth-suspended scale to weigh infants and a radiant warmer made of bamboo to maintain the baby's body temperature. It consisted of two native woven baskets of different sizes usually used for keeping laundry. The smaller basket was placed inside the larger one. During a biographical interview in 2007, Del Mundo said, “I put in hot water bottles all around between them. I put a little hood over the entire contraption and attached oxygen for the baby,” she says. “We had to do with whatever was available.”
Dr. Del Mundo was also the recipient of numerous awards during her lifetime and beyond. She received the Elizabeth Blackwell Award for "outstanding service to mankind" and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for outstanding public service in 1966 and 1977, respectively. She also received the 15th International Congress of Pediatrics award as most outstanding pediatrician and humanitarian in 1977. President Benigno Aquino III conferred the Order of the Golden Heart with the rank of Grand Collar posthumously on National Scientist Fe del Mundo on August 11, 2011.
This petite pediatrician, barely 5 feet tall was married only to her career, which is taking care of children, and never had a family of her own. She has a big heart for the sick and even chose to practice until she died in her sleep on August 6, 2011. She was more than 99 years old, actually less than 3 months shy of 100. .She was finally laid to rest in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, where she rightfully belongs because she was a hero.


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