Urologists alarmed by high cases of undescended testis in Laikipia, Nyandarua

Urologists have raised concerns over the high number of cases of undescended testis in children in Nyandarua and Laikipia counties.

The revelations were made Tuesday during a three-day urological camp organised by Kenya Association of Urological Surgeons in Nyahururu Level Four Hospital, led by consultant Urologist Muigai Mararo.

According to a spot-check at the Nyahururu County Referral Hospital theatre, doctors attend up to 24 cases per month.

“Urology is the pathology of the urinary system. We are doing free care and free operation on children and adults both male and female. The commonest problem we have encountered here is prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. We have also attended to patients who cannot pass urine because of blockage of the urinary system. We have also seen a lot of children with what we call the undescended testis. That means their testis are not in their normal position, they are at a position a bit higher or cannot even feel them,” said Mararo.

The specialist said the prevalence is worrying compared to other counties adding that they were seized of the matter and had embarked on research to establish the cause.

Mararo called upon mothers to be keen and seek medical attention from a specialist in case they spot any anomalies.

He said the condition is rarely found in older persons adding it is more common in young people and is majorly associated with premature births.

Kitovu Mburugu chairman of the Kenya Association of Urological surgeons said if left untreated, undescended testis causes infertility and is a risk factor for testicular cancer.

“It is important to be identified and treated early enough especially before the child gets to the age of two years.

For a child born in a hospital, the attending doctor is supposed to identify that but if it fails, whenever mothers are bathing the kid they can palpate the testis area to establish the exact position and if not they should report to the nearest hospital,” said Mburugu

Nurta Ali, a mother from Tana River County who had sought treatment for her son who is 6 years in Tana River, Isiolo and Mombasa Counties expressed relief after her son was attended to in Nyahururu hospital.


An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism) is a testicle that hasn’t moved into its proper position in the bag of skin hanging below the penis (scrotum) before birth.

Usually just one testicle is affected, but about 10 per cent of the time both testicles are undescended.

An undescended testicle is uncommon in general, but common among baby boys born prematurely.

The vast majority of the time, the undescended testicle moves into the proper position on its own, within the first few months of life. If an undescended testicle doesn’t correct itself, surgery can relocate the testicle into the scrotum.

Additional reporting by Lydia Mwangi






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