Few would call him a celebrity, but when Birhanu walks down the street, he sometimes gets noticed. People don’t ask him for an autograph but instead, greet him with a smile and a wave. These are the children he has treated for clubfoot at the Hope Walks partner clinic at Adama Teaching Hospital, one of the largest public hospitals in Ethiopia.
Birhanu felt the calling to help children with clubfoot when he started noticing people with the deformity in church or beggars on the street. He finds treating clubfoot and turning lives around very satisfying. To him, he’s giving more than foot correction, he’s giving hope. He says helping to correct clubfoot impacts more than just the patient. It helps the entire family with their problems. Without such treatment, a child would grow into a life where he or she may have little promise for the future.
For the past eight years, he devotes one day a week to the Hope Walks partner clinic, and the rest of his professional time is spent at the public hospital conducting minor surgery. In about a year, Birhanu plans to get married, but he says he will always help at the clubfoot clinic.