Dr Jalloh is a veterinary surgeon who founded the ‘Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society’ in 1988 to treat dogs with minor wounds, parasites and rabies. He was inspired to launch this voluntary work after his younger brother died at the age of seven after being bitten by a rabid dog. According to the ‘World Health Organisation’, around 60,000 people die from rabies each year, with 95 per cent of those cases occurring in African and Asian countries. Working in one of the densest populations of stray dogs in Africa, Dr Jalloh is the only vet in Sierra Leone who is tackling this problem by offering to spay, neuter and vaccinate dogs against rabies for free. Under Dr Jalloh’s leadership, the society has vaccinated 50,000 dogs against rabies and sterilised over 45,000.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.
Dr Abdul Gudush Jalloh said: “I am very honoured to have been chosen to receive this prestigious award. In life there are many ways in getting almost anywhere you want to go and achieve anything you want to do. The most important is the willingness to go where there was no path, achieve and leave a trail.”
Guy Warrington, UK High Commissioner to Sierra Leone said: “I congratulate Dr Jalloh on winning this award as recognition of his continued good work to alleviate the suffering of animals in Sierra Leone and in doing so reduce health risks to humans, in particular children, from transferable diseases such as rabies.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting will bring together leaders from all the 53 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.
The Point of Light awards recognise outstanding volunteers every day of the week – people whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to creative innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.
Points of Light began in America under President George H. W. Bush and today over 6,000 US Points of Light have been recognised. The scheme has the support of all living US Presidents.
Since 2014 the UK Prime Minister has been recognising a daily Point of Light from the UK, with almost 900 now recognised.
Commonwealth Points of Light is a continuation of this programme – with a special series of awards recognising inspirational volunteers throughout the Commonwealth in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April. One volunteer will be recognised from each of the Commonwealth countries in the 52 week days preceding the Heads of Government meeting.