This multi-agency report, led by MSH, with input from CHAI, FIND, MMV, JSI/Deliver, PMI, RBM, WDI and WHO provides guidance for the specific interaction between artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). It shows users how to develop a stepwise approach to quantifying ACT and RDT demand at the program level and to understand the data and the assumptions that are needed for quantification, especially when the data are imperfect.
Specifically, the manual illustrates how to plan, forecast, and ensure supplies of ACTs and RDTs through the following steps:
- Identify the data needed and where the data comes from.
- Choose the appropriate method for forecasting based on the data available.
- Identify, obtain consensus on, and apply assumptions that may be needed for quantification included those for missing data.
- Estimate the effect of any programmatic factors (e.g., scale-up) or environmental factors (e.g., seasonality of malaria) that may influence demand.
- Identify the unique characteristics of malaria, ACTs, and RDTs, and special considerations to be applied in their quantification.
- Use the forecasting data and assumptions to calculate the quantities needed for the specific quantification period.
- Interpret the estimates obtained.
- Develop supply schedules to ensure that an uninterrupted supply of ACTs and RDTs is available, and apply practical steps on how to develop and manage changing needs to avoid over- or underestimating future needs, thereby minimizing shortages or wastage.