Commonwealth Point of Light 47. Abdul Gudush Jalloh
Dr Abdul Gudush Jalloh, representing Sierra Leone, 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. After the society partnered with Freetown City Council, the city’s Mayor was inspired to launch dog population management and rabies prevention as two of his key policy areas. Under Dr Jalloh’s leadership, the society has vaccinated 50,000 dogs against rabies and sterilised over 45,000.
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 in 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.”