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Information, behaviors, and technologies spread when people interact. Understanding these interactions is critical for achieving the greatest diffusion of public interventions. Yet, little is known about the performance of starting points (seed nodes) for diffusion. We track routine mass drug administration-the large-scale distribution of deworming drugs-in Uganda. We observe friendship networks, socioeconomic factors, and treatment delivery outcomes for 16,357 individuals in 3491 households of 17 rural villages. Each village has two community medicine distributors (CMDs), who are the seed nodes and responsible for administering treatments. Here, we show that CMDs with tightly knit (clustered) friendship connections achieve the greatest reach and speed of treatment coverage. Importantly, we demonstrate that clustering predicts diffusion through social networks when spreading relies on contact with seed nodes while centrality is unrelated to diffusion. Clustering should be considered when selecting seed nodes for large-scale treatment campaigns.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41467-017-01499-z

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature communications

Publication Date

05/12/2017

Volume

8

Addresses

Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, 19 Silver St., Cambridge, CB3 9EP, UK. gjc36@cam.ac.uk.

Keywords

Humans, Helminthiasis, Anthelmintics, Family Characteristics, Social Support, Socioeconomic Factors, Rural Population, Delivery of Health Care, Uganda, Community Health Workers, Social Networking, Mass Drug Administration