Manual for Quantification of Malaria Commodities. Rapid Diagnostic Tests and Artemisinin-Based Combination Therapy for First-Line Treatment of Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria
(2011; 116 pages)

Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems. 2011. Manual for Quantification of Malaria Commodities: Rapid Diagnostic Tests and Artemisinin-Based Combination Therapy for First-Line Treatment of Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria. Submitted to the US Agency for International Development by the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems Program. Arlington, VA: Management Sciences for Health.


This manual is designed to provide users, especially those at the malaria program level including malaria program managers, procurement officers, warehouse managers, implementing partners, donor agencies and others, with practical steps and guidance on how to carry out a national-level quantification of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for the diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated malaria.

This manual differs from previously prepared quantification manuals (MSH 2008; USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, 2009) in that it specifically targets quantification of ACTs and RDTs and provides guidance for the specific interaction between the two. The manual 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 will illustrate how to plan, forecast, and ensure supplies of ACTs and RDTs through the following steps—

  1. Identify the data needed and where the data comes from.
  2. Choose the appropriate method for forecasting based on the data available.
  3. Identify, obtain consensus on, and apply assumptions that may be needed for quantification included those for missing data.
  4. Estimate the effect of any programmatic factors (e.g., scale-up) or environmental factors (e.g., seasonality of malaria) that may influence demand.
  5. Identify the unique characteristics of malaria, ACTs, and RDTs, and special considerations to be applied in their quantification.
  6. Use the forecasting data and assumptions to calculate the quantities needed for the specific quantification period.
  7. Interpret the estimates obtained.
  8. 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.
  9. The methodologies presented in this manual can be used for other products to treat and prevent other types of malaria. However, this guide focuses on the unique characteristics of ACTs and RDTs because these products are currently those most commonly used for first-line diagnosis and treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    This manual describes the overall quantification process for ACTs and RDTs from start to finish. It provides instructions for each step of the process and cites challenges and possible solutions to each situation.

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