My name is Liz Owino, I am from Eldoret, Kenya. I was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when I was 2 months old.
I was in denial for 17 years about my condition and I was bitter and depressed. When I turned 18 years old, I accepted my condition after being hospitalized for 6 months, as I was very anaemic and very sick.
I'm sharing my story to educate the world about noncommunicable diseases and to also advocate for universal health coverage. Noncommunicable diseases in developing countries are not taken seriously. I have faced a myriad of challenges, some of which accessing medication, doctors and quality healthcare.
I would also like to debunk myths about sickle cell disease, as there is a lot of myths surrounding the disease and little information about the disease.
God gives his hardest fight to his strongest soldier.
17 September 2021
My Sickle Cell Journey
Sickle cell disease is the most common hemoglobinopathy encountered in Kenya. At least 240,000 children in Africa are born each year with sickle cell disease, of which an estimated 6000 are in Kenya. In this podcast, I talk about my experience of living with sickle cell disease since I was 2 months old, from diagnosis to treatment and care. I specifically highlight my experience with affordability of care, sharing insights on the national health insurance in Kenya and how it works for sickle cell disease and other NCDs.
19 November 2021
One step at a time
In this episode, I talk about the realities of people in my community that are living with sickle cell and other NCDs in Kenya. I discuss shared challenges around access to affordable treatment and care, and current means of paying for NCD services, in order to make a case for why coverage of NCDs under UHC will be crucial for many people in my country.
26 January 2022
It always seems impossible until it's done
In this episode, I summarise the main challenges of people living with Sickle Cell and other NCDs including cancer and hemophilia in Kenya, with a focus on issues around access and affordability of care. I then share my calls to action for decision-makers in Kenya, including advancing the UHC agenda for comprehensive NCD coverage, training more NCD specialists, building more hospitals and specialised NCD clinics, and implementing awareness programs to break down stigma and drive the prioritisation of the NCD response.
I'm sharing my story to educate the world about noncommunicable diseases and to also advocate for universal health coverage. Noncommunicable diseases in developing countries are not taken seriously. God gives his hardest fight to his strongest Soldier.
Liz Owino, lived experience of sickle cell disease, Kenya
About NCD DIARIES
The NCD Diaries use rich and immersive multimedia approaches to share lived experiences to drive change, using a public narrative framework.