FoodSAMSA is a collaborative project by four academic institutions: the Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa at the University of Cape Town (CDIA/UCT), the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München (LMU Munich) and the University of Western Cape (UWC).

Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa (CDIA/UCT), University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

The Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa (CDIA) is a network of multidisciplinary researchers and policymakers from academic and research institutions in South Africa (University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of the Western CapeSouth African Medical Research Council), as well as the wider region. The Center serves as a regional hub for developing and evaluating models of non-communicable disease prevention and care, and works in close collaboration with the South African Provincial and National Department of Health.

Since its launch in 2009, the CDIA network has expanded to include members from Malawi and Botswana and from the University of Pretoria and University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. CDIA is involved in the postgraduate training of local and international students who are registered at different universities and is unique in sub-Saharan Africa in that it strives to connect scientists to optimize research agendas among the few chronic disease researchers in the region.

CDIA is hosted by the Department of Medicine’s Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, a leading public research university founded in 1829 and the oldest extant university in sub-Saharan Africa. UCT is the highest-ranked African University in many global rankings and its Faculty of Medicine is consistently placed among the hundred best internationally. UCT collaborates with important players across Africa to address regional challenges and plays a key role in connecting the global north and south to build and share African knowledge and expertise.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Munich, Germany

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich) is located in Munich, Germany. Founded in 1472, it is is one of Germany's oldest and most prestigious public universities, and home to more than 50,000 students and 14,000 staff. In the Food-SAMSA consortium LMU Munich is represented through its Chair of Public Health and Health Services Research.

The activities of the Chair of Public Health and Health Services Research at LMU Munich focus on the generation, synthesis and translation of evidence on population-level health interventions and determinants, with a particular focus on public health nutrition, environmental health and public mental health. It is part of Cochrane Public Health Europe and hosts a WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-Based Public Health.

The Chair is also part of the Pettenkofer School of Public Health, named after Max von Pettenkofer (1818-1901), one of the founding fathers of modern hygiene and social medicine. The School runs Masters‘ and a PhD Program in Public Health and Epidemiology, and is responsible for training Bavaria‘s public health officials. It leads research activities on a broad range of public health topics, and has a long-standing close partnership with researchers across Sub-Saharan Africa through the Collaboration for Evidence-based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+).

South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) was established in 1969 with a mandate to improve the health of the country’s population, through research, development and technology transfer, so that people can enjoy a better quality of life. The scope of the organisation’s research projects includes tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular and non-communicable diseases, gender and health, and alcohol and other drug abuse. With a strategic objective to help strengthen the health systems of the country – in line with that of the Department of Health, the SAMRC constantly identifies the main causes of death in South Africa. In the consortium it is represented by the Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit. The overall purpose of the Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit (NCDRU) is to formulate and apply an integrated programme of research and capacity development to improve the understanding, detection, prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with a major initial focus on cardiovascular and metabolic disorders in South Africa.

Key focus areas

  • Foster greater understanding of the burden, mechanisms and determinants of NCDs
  • Develop, apply and evaluate interventions for the detection, prevention and management of NCDs
  • Address conditions and challenges that are unique to the South African environment
  • Develop and adopt new health technological approaches to NCDs
  • Translate new and existing knowledge into policy and practice, and
  • Develop research capacity and interdisciplinary collaboration and maximize the output of existing research efforts.

School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa

The School of Public Health of the University of the Western Cape, based in Bellville, South Africa, is one of the leading schools of public health in Sub-Saharan Africa. It offers post-graduate diploma, Masters and PhD programmes in public health which attract students from across sub-Saharan Africa and has a track record of world-class research. The School hosts a WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Human Resources for Health Development, as well as a Department of Science and Technology / National Research Foundation (DST-NRF) Center of Excellence in Food Security.

ts vision is is the optimal and comprehensive health and well-being of populations in developing countries, particularly Africa, living in healthy and sustainable environments with access to and participation in appropriate, high quality, comprehensive and equitable basic services, including health services and systems, rooted in human rights and social justice.

The purpose of the School is to support and train policy makers and implementers who are knowledgeable and skilled in the principles and practice of public health, whose practice is based on research, influenced by informed and active communities, and implemented with a commitment to equity, social justice and human dignity. School Of Public Health - University of the Western Cape - School of Public Health (