This was a 2-year interventional prospective study aimed at determining the frequency and pattern of musculoskeletal disability among beggars of the streets of Addis Ababa. It was part of a continuous multidisciplinary study that was trying to assess causes of street begging and looked for ways to stop it or at least bring it to ’tolerable’ proportions. This part of the study mainly focused on treatable/correctable musculoskeletal disabilities leading to begging on streets in the city. It also assessed the degree, duration and reasons for street begging and determined whether correcting treatable musculoskeletal disabilities stopped beggars from begging or not. The study setting was in Addis Ababa city, in collaboration with C.A.R.D.O.S. Ethiopia.
Methods: This was an interventional prospective follow-up study on beggars of the streets of Addis Ababa who claimed musculoskeletal disability as their main cause for begging. A location in a sub city was selected for a reason of hosting the largest number of beggars. In collaboration with the local administrator, a clinic was opened amidst the busy street and volunteer street beggars with musculoskeletal disability were recruited for the study. Surgical procedures were performed in 61 ‘patients’ and were followed for two years, from April 2007- April 2009. Some beggars refused a clearly beneficial surgery