End of Study on Reference Intervals

Prof. Julius Fobil, PI for GEOHealth West Africa in a collaboration with Prof Kiyoshi Ichihara and MedLab Ghana Ltd. has successfully completed the Ghanaian component of the global multicenter reference interval study. Prof. Kiyoshi Ichihara, MD & PhD and currently research professor has been emeritus professor of Yamaguchi University, Japan since 2016. Since graduating from Yamaguchi University School of Medicine in 1975, he has worked in the field of laboratory medicine and clinical chemistry. He has 130 international journal publications on theories and methodologies for derivation of RIs and laboratory quality controls. He has authored and developed popular statistical textbooks and software in Japan since 1990. With his unique expertise in biostatistics and computer programming as a MD, he has chaired many global committees on RI-related projects.

He leads the global multicenter study that seeks to establish harmonized reference intervals across twenty (20) countries. Ghana is one of the five African countries participating this study. The others are Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa.

The research which has established over eighty (80) analytes spanning haematology, biochemistry, immunoglobulins, hormones and tumor markers was coordinated by Mrs. Serwaa Akoto Bawua, PhD student of the University of Ghana

Prof. Ichihara recently visited Ghana and in a presentation at the University of Ghana, he highlighted key methodological concepts adopted for this study. He emphasized on the robustness of these concepts and how they contribute to the external and internal validity of the reference intervals derived. One of these concepts is the latent abnormal values exclusion (LAVE); this is a secondary exclusion criteria technique which remove all individuals with latent diseases such as Iron deficiency anaemia, metabolic syndrome and inflammation.
Medlab Ghana Ltd in collaboration with University of Ghana organised a reception in honour of Prof Kiyoshi Ichihara at the Azmera restaurant in Accra. In attendance were representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and University of Ghana. At the reception, the preliminary results of the Ghanaian based reference interval presented revealed conspicuous differences compared with the manufacturers’ standards currently in use. If the Ghanaian based reference intervals are adopted for use it would improve clinical decision making by healthcare providers. More so, this would be important for screening of participants for clinical trial recruitment. This study is a game changer because it will improve significantly the accuracy in diagnosis and patient management in the country.