A pilot study to determine the normal haematological indices for young Malawian adults in Blantyre, Malawi|
Chisale, M.R.; Kumwenda, P.; Ngwira, M.; M’baya, B.; Chosamata, B.I. & Mwapasa, V.
To determine the distribution of haematological parameters in healthy
individuals residing in Blantyre, Malawi. We also examined the effect of
sociodemographic and nutritional factors on the haematological variables.
We conducted a proof-of-concept cross-sectional study, involving 105
healthy blood donors at Malawi Blood Transfusion Service in Blantyre.
Eligible participants were HIV-negative males and females, aged 19 to 35
years, who did not have any evidence of acute or chronic illness, or bloodborne
infection. We performed the haematological tests at the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust laboratory in Blantyre, and the screening tests
at Malawi Blood Transfusion Service laboratories.
Out of 170 consenting healthy volunteers, haematological results were
available for 105 participants. The proportions of results which were
below the lower limit of the manufacturer’s reference ranges were
35.2% (37/105) for haemoglobin, 15.2% (16/105) for neutrophils,
23.8% (25/105) for eosinophils, and 88.6 % (93/105) for basophils.
The proportions of results that were above the upper limit of the
manufacturer’s reference ranges were 9.5% (10/105) for platelets and
12.4% (13/105) for monocytes. We also observed that the mean leucocyte
and basophil counts were significantly higher in males than females (p =
0.042 and p = 0.015, respectively). There were no statistically significant
differences in haematological results observed among different ethnic,
age, and body mass index groups.
Over half of otherwise healthy study participants had at least one abnormal
haematological result, using previously established foreign standards.
More detailed studies are needed to establish locally relevant normal
ranges for different age groups and other demographic characteristics
of the Malawian population. This will lead to accurate interpretation of