Exploring network theory for mass drug administration.
Chami GF., Molyneux DH., Kontoleon AA., Dunne DW.
Network theory is a well-established discipline that uses mathematical graphs to describe biological, physical, and social systems. The topologies across empirical networks display strikingly similar organizational properties. In particular, the characteristics of these networks allow computational analysis to contribute data unattainable from examining individual components in isolation. However, the interdisciplinary and quantitative nature of network analysis has yet to be exploited by public health initiatives to distribute preventive chemotherapies. One notable application is the 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) Roadmap for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) where there is a need to upscale distribution capacity and to target systematic noncompliers. An understanding of local networks for analysing the distributional properties of community-directed treatment may facilitate sustainable expansion of mass drug-administration (MDA) programs.