The Sub-Saharan African MuSculOskeletal Network - SAMSON

SAMSON is a research network across West, East and Southern Africa.

SAMSON aims to:

  1. Build sustainable capacity in Musculoskeletal Health Research by creating a collaborative research platform
  2. Share learning in Musculoskeletal Health Research through the life course to reduce the burden of Musculoskeletal disease
  3. Inform health policy, promote training, research capacity development, knowledge transfer and public engagement through the life course for Musculoskeletal disease
  4. Provide guidance to standardise methods for Musculoskeletal assessment across Sub-Saharan Africa

Photo: Ian Farrell, © MRC Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Research Outputs by SAMSON partners

Lancet Global Health Commentary - 'Fragility Fractures in Sub-Saharan Africa'
Vitamin D and musculoskeletal health outcomes in children and adolescents; a systematic review
Sarcopenia prevalance in The Gambia
Disability, social functioning and school inclusion among children living with HIV in Zimbabwe
The Gambian Bone Ageing Study Cohort Paper
Older age at initiation of antiretroviral therapy predicts low bone mineral density in children with perinatally-infected HIV in Zimbabwe
The prevalence of sarcopenia and relationships between muscle and bone in ageing West-African Gambian men and women
Zengin A, Jarjou LM, Prentice A, Cooper C, Ebeling PR, Ward KA. - The GamBAS Study
Corrigendum: The Gambian Bone and Muscle Ageing Study: Baseline Data From a Prospective Observational African Sub-Saharan Study
Zengin A, Fulford AJ, Sawo Y, Jarjou LM, Schoenmakers I, Goldberg G, Prentice A, Ward KA. - The GamBAS Study
The Gambian Bone and Muscle Ageing Study (GamBAS): baseline data from a prospective observational Sub-Saharan Africa study
Zengin A, Fulford AJ, Sawo Y, Jarjou LM, Schoenmakers I, Goldberg GR, Prentice A, Ward KA. - The GamBAS Study
Lactation associated bone loss in women living with HIV in Uganda
A new paper from Florence Nabwire, Nutrition and Bone Health Research Group, Cambride, UK. This work was part of a longitudinal study exploring bone loss in women living with and without HIV in Uganda. It was funded thought a Gates Foundation-Cambridge PhD Scholarship and involved collaboration between partners in Uganda (MUJHU Care Ltd, Makere University, Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation), MRC Cambridge and John Hopkins University, US.

News from SAMSON researchers

HIV affecting the way the skeleton grows
Global Call to Action on fragility fractures - News from the Fragility Fracture Network
Congratulations to Cynthia Kahari, 2020 Recipient of the ASBMR Phoebe Leboy Professional Development Award!


Epidemiological and Statistical Methods and Musculoskeletal Research Training Workshop, Harare, Zimbabwe. 11th - 13th March 2019

This three-day workshop built on the successes of our 2018 research training workshop, to deliver a two-day international, multi-disciplinary programme of epidemiology and statistical training. Day three was dedicated to training in the practical conduct of forearm pQCT and the analysis of bone age on hand and wrist radiographs. This workshop was funded through a University of Bristol GCRF Global Impact Acceleration Account grant from the UKRI entitled ‘Musculoskeletal Knowledge Exchange between Zimbabwe and Bristol; a SAMSON initiative’.

Strategic Workshop, Durban, South Africa, 16th-20th July 2018

This meeting brought together a multi-disciplinary, international group of principal investigators who aim together to submit successful global health funding applications. This workshop was funded through University of Bristol Global Challenges Research Funding and Academy of Medical Sciences GCRF Networking Funding and hosted by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Musculoskeletal Research Training Workshop, Harare, Zimbabwe, 19th-22nd March 2018

This 4 day workshop was designed for researchers in Zimbabwe who are working, or planning to work, in the field of musculoskeletal health research.

SAMSON partners include:

Makerere University, Uganda
MRC Unit The Gambia
The Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI), Zimbabwe
The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), South Africa
The University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
University of Bristol, UK
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology, University of Southampton, UK
Nuffield Department of Orthopedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences
University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Zambia

SAMSON is open to new partners. This website is currently under development and we welcome user feedback.