central Vietnamese province is seeking investment
to build a mountain resort to bear the name
of the famed physician and bacteriologist Alexandre
resort is slated to be set atop Hon Ba, a 1,500m
high mountain in Khanh Hoa province, some 55
km away from Vietnam’s central beach town of
was at Hon Ba that Yersin opened a station in
1915, where he tried to acclimatize the quinine
tree (Cinchona ledgeriana), which was imported
from the Andes in South America. The tree produced
the first known effective remedy for preventing
and treating malaria, a disease which is still
prevalent in Southeast Asia to this day.
resort plans to offer spa, mud bath and meditation
therapies as well as recreational services including
a casino. A museum to commemorate Yersin will
also be built.
provincial authorities have invested almost
VND100 billion (US$6,000,000) to build a road
to the mountain top.
was born to a French family in 1863 in Lavaux,
Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Along with Shibasaburo
Kitasato, he is remembered as the co-discoverer
of the bacillus responsible for the bubonic
plague, which was re-named Yersinia pestis in
arrived in Vietnam in 1890 when the country
was a French colony. In 1895, he installed a
small laboratory in Nha Trang to manufacture
the world’s first anti-plague serum, which he
had developed earlier in Paris.
is well remembered in Vietnam, where he was
affectionately called Ong Nam (Mr. Nam/Fifth)
by the people.
the country's independence, streets named in
his honor kept their designation, and his tomb
in Suoi Dau was graced by a pagoda where rites
are performed in his worship.
house in Nha Trang is now a museum, and the
epitaph on his tombstone describes him as a
"Benefactor and humanist, venerated by
the Vietnamese people". In Hanoi, a French
Lycée has his name.
1934 he was nominated honorary director of Pasteur
Institute and a member of its Board of Administration.
He died during World War II at his home in Nha
Trang, in 1943.
Tuoi Tre – Translated by The Vinh