Defying misconceptions: My Journey of resilience and advocacy for sickle cell trait

Living with sickle cell trait has shaped my life in ways I never could have imagined. For the past 42 years, I have navigated the trials and tribulations that come with this genetic condition. Unfortunately, one of the most devastating consequences for me has been the impact on my fertility.

Doctors have advised me against conceiving a child due to the risks involved. The fear of losing the baby, myself, or both during childbirth looms over me like a dark cloud. It’s a difficult reality to accept, especially when the community fails to understand the complexities of my situation.

Feeling isolated and misunderstood, I yearn for the understanding and support of those around me. The community’s lack of knowledge about sickle cell traits only serves to alienate me further. Their inability to grasp the implications of low blood and its effect on my fertility leaves me feeling like an outcast. It is disheartening to see my dreams shattered, as marriage and motherhood seem forever out of reach.

As I continue to brave through life with sickle cell trait, I strive to raise awareness and shed light on the struggles faced by individuals like me. My story serves as a cautionary tale, a poignant reminder that the impact of this condition extends far beyond the physical pain.

It is my hope that by sharing my experiences, I can foster empathy and understanding within the community, leading to greater support for those living with sickle cell trait. Together, let us create a world where every person is valued and understood, regardless of their health challenges.

In a region where the sickle cell trait prevails, one woman has dedicated her life to raising awareness about the realities of living with sickle cell anaemia. Jacinta Atieno Ochieng, now 42, has faced numerous challenges and setbacks. She has tirelessly travelled throughout the community, determined to dispel the lingering superstitions that attribute the disease to witchcraft. Amidst her struggles, one unfulfilled dream haunts her – the inability to have a child and act as a mother herself.

Despite Western and Nyanza regions being significantly impacted by the sickle cell trait, the community’s understanding of the disease remains shrouded in myths and misconceptions. For four decades, Jacinta Atieno Ochieng has lived with the realities of sickle cell anaemia, a genetic disorder affecting the shape and functionality of red blood cells.

“I have been moving around the region to educate the community about the disease,” Jacinta shares. “Unfortunately, many still believe it is a result of witchcraft. It has been a constant battle.”

Jacinta’s determination to change these deeply ingrained beliefs stems from her personal struggles. Her condition has made it impossible for her to have children, while societal expectations and pressures continue to weigh heavily upon her. Alone and childless, she has faced hardships that few can comprehend.

Living with sickle cell anaemia is not easy. The disease causes severe pain, fatigue, and organ damage, often leaving sufferers physically,  emotionally and financially drained. Jacinta’s struggle is compounded by the stigmas attached to her condition. Marriage prospects have dwindled, and the idea of having children remains out of reach.

Despite it all, Jacinta remains resilient. She passionately emphasizes that sickle cell anemia is not a curse or a consequence of witchcraft, but a medical condition that requires understanding and support. Through her tireless efforts, she hopes to empower and educate her community, paving the way for greater acceptance and compassion towards those living with sickle cell anaemia.

Ochieng’s journey with sickle cell anaemia has been a remarkable combination of resilience, determination, and a deep desire to eradicate misconceptions. She refuses to let her condition define her worth or her abilities. Through her unwavering advocacy, she has become a beacon of hope for others living with sickle cell anaemia, spreading awareness and inspiring change. As society slowly wakes up to the realities of this disease, Jacinta’s ultimate dream is for a day when every individual understands sickle cell anaemia for what it is – a medical condition – and not something to be feared or misunderstood.

AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.


Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Full Episodes

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

One Health Lens Podcast

Discussing health matters and human stories from Kenya and across Africa. We talk big picture from people to policy, ecosystems, and everything in between. Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/onehealthlens

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.



Speaking of GEN Z

Speaking of Gen Z brings you entertaining but meaningful conversations about a generation that is trying to navigate through adulthood. Join hosts Michelle, Jackie and Esther as they unravel all things Gen Z.

Sport On

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.


The extent of technological growth is beyond mere acknowledgment; it has seamlessly integrated into our daily existence. A few years ago, the notion of paying electricity bills through mobile money or recharging with 'tokens' in Kenya seemed inconceivable. Online product sales were considered distant, and artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping various facets of our lives. Amidst these technological leaps, those with a solid understanding of tech can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and build a sustainable livelihood. Tech over Show aims to be the platform facilitating discussions among thought leaders, innovators, tech companies, and the government, addressing challenges and opportunities in Kenya's thriving tech industry.


Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Politalk podcast

This is The Politalk podcast. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The trend podcast

The trend podcast highlights and captures the best of banter from #TTTT segment that airs every Friday on NTV. It's the TTTT EXTRA

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula


Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.


This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

VIP Access

VIP ACCESS is Anyiko Owoko’s YouTube and podcast show on Music and Culture dedicated to promoting Africa’s most promising talent and creatives. This podcast grants you VIP access into timeless interviews while providing a platform for rising as well as established artists across the continent. Since launching in 2018, Anyiko has interviewed over 70 African music stars.


This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.