At just 39, Dr Biniyam Sirak, is one of the youngest and most passionate surgeons with a special interest for Hamlin’s cause. This may be because he grew up living next to Hamlin’s rehabilitation centre Desta Mender – “I feel my career was written for me!” he laughs.
Hamlin Fistula UK’s team met Biniyam on a 2019 visit to Ethiopia and he told us that it was Hamlin’s previous Medical Director Fekade Ayenachew who first inspired him to become a fistula surgeon and helped him to specialise in gynaecological surgery.
Binyamin leads fistula surgery at Yirgalem Regional Fistula Hospital and has worked for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia for four years. An experienced gynaecologist and obstetrician he holds a masters in medicine from Addis Ababa University and is currently a Fellow of Urogynaecology at Mekelle University, where he is specialising in advanced diversion surgery techniques.
“Hamlin is now a center of excellence in its holistic and patient centered care. It is a well-structured ever-growing institution that grabs the interest of whoever, like myself, wants to develop further” he told us.
Binyamin is one of just 12 fistula surgeons in Ethiopia and performs fistula surgeries around 15 times a month at Yirgalem Regional Fistula Hospital, as well as many surgeries for women with prolapse and other gynaecological conditions – providing vital health services for women from across the Southern region of Ethiopia.
Last year alone, 249 women received surgery at Yirgalem and had their lives changed, including women like Tewe whose story is below.
Of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s founder Dr Catherine Hamlin, who sadly recently passed away, Binyam told us “the selflessness of the founders in establishing such a specialised center for the marginalised women of my country always remains the inspiration behind my work. There is nothing that I would love more than to further progress my career with Hamlin to ensure the continuity of the Hamlin’s legacy”.