NAIROBI， Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Agnes Mwikali was in a forlorn mood on Thursday morning as she tagged along her two children to Dandora Health Centre for treatment of a respiratory infection that grounded them during the Christmas holiday.
The mother of two joined a long queue at the government sponsored hospital that caters to residents of neighboring slum villages where abject poverty and environmental pollution have aggravated the burden of infectious diseases.
During a conversation with Xinhua， Mwikali disclosed that she had visited Dandora Health Centre twice this week only to return home unattended due to absence of health personnel.
The vegetable vendor in her late twenties regretted that the nationwide doctors' strike which commenced in early December has exposed her young offspring to unwarranted suffering.
"It was on the eve of Christmas when my children started coughing and I rushed them here only to find the main entrance locked. Upon inquiry， I was told no medic had reported on duty and the guards advised to try my luck today，" said Mwikali.
Her lucky star shone brighter on Thursday dawn when a friend informed her that a skeleton number of medical personnel were spotted at the health facility.
Mwikali and her two children trudged along insecure dark alleys from her home in Korogocho slums to Dandora Health Centre for treatment of a persistent cough that threw the young ones off balance.
She vowed to patiently wait for her turn at the health facility whose skeleton staff was grappling with a swelling number of patients in need of urgent medical attention.
"Since the tablets that I have been purchasing from the chemists have not worked out， I have no option but to wait for the doctor to examine my children and prescribe the correct medication，' Mwikali said.
Her optimism was reinforced by the friendly attitude the medical workers projected as they raced against time to attend patients suffering from different types of ailments.
Mwikali and millions of financially constrained Kenyans have borne the brunt of the doctors strike that has paralyzed the entire health sector in the east African nation.
At the Dandora Health Centre， both the young and old patients were clutching on thin hopes thanks to a dismal number of specialists to treat ailments.
Joseph Munuhe， a 75-year-old father of eight who is diabetic， had visited Dandora Health Centre for the daily insulin injection but the long queue had sapped his stamina.
Munuhe lives with his wife in a nearby gated residential quarter but ravages of diabetes have not only accelerated his aging process but also depleted his savings