What is SMAfrica?

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about SMA: physiology, treatment, clinical trials, respiratory, orthopaedic, and nutritional management, physiotherapy (assessment and management), ethical considerations and newborn screening.

Three full days of interactive training and discussion including plenary lectures, round-table discussions, and role-play around diagnosis announcement. All with very high-flying speakers from EU and US. And in the meantime a great opportunity to network with physicians from all around the world and to become actively involved in the international SMA community.

For Whom?

Physicians from Africa involved in Spinal muscular atrophy care.

Sessions will be held in French or English, depending on participants’ preferences.

Where and when?

SMAfrica: Monday 11th March - Wednesday 13th March In Leuven, Belgium

SMA Europe: Thursday 14th March - Saturday 16th March In Ghent, Belgium

Image removed.

What is the SMA Europe congress ?

Three full days of congress about SMA with cutting edge talks of international speakers and plenty of opportunity to network. https://ghent2024.sma-europe.eu 

Who are the organizers and the speakers

Organized by Prof. Liesbeth DE WAELE, University Hospitals Leuven/KU Leuven, Belgium and Prof. Laurent SERVAIS, University of Oxford, UK; University of Liege, Belgium,


with a prestigious faculty:

  • Prof. Richard FINKEL: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA

  • Prof. Maryam OSKOUI: Departments of Pediatrics and Neurosciences, McGill University, Canada

  • Prof. Kristl CLAEYS: University Hospitals Leuven/KU Leuven, Belgium

  • Dr Tamara DANGOULOFF: University of Liege, Belgium

  • Prof. Mieke BOON: University Hospitals Leuven/KU Leuven, Belgium

  • Dr Pierre MOENS: University Hospitals Leuven/KU Leuven, Belgium

  • Charlotte LILIEN: University of Oxford, UK

  • Marleen VAN DEN HAUWE: University Hospitals Leuven/KU Leuven, Belgium

How much will it cost?

Following costs will be covered entirely:

  • registration to both SMAfrica and SMA Europe
  • travel to Leuven and to Ghent (economy class)

  • accommodation in Leuven (SMAfrica) and Ghent (SMA Europe)

  • catering during SMAfrica

This is made possible by grants from the generous sponsors.


Full participation to the 3 days of SMAfrica, and to SMA Europe is required.

We do not cover for Visa costs, insurance costs, incidental costs or any other cost exposed without pre-approval.

What do I comit for?

  • To attend the entire duration of both events: SMAfrica and SMA Europe
  • To actively participate to SMAfrica
  • To submit in due time the required documents (CV...)

It is face to face?

Yes, it is! We want to privilege a face-to-face interaction with a group of maximum 25 participants.

How can I register?

Registration is now closed. But we'll be sure to keep you informed if a new edition can be organized.

photo SMAfrica

After months of preparation- here we are finally !

SMAfrica ! A training and networking event organized by Liesbeth Dewaele, Tamara Dangouloff and Laurent Servais.

23 doctors from Algeria-Marocco-Tunisia-Egypt-Cameroun-Burkina Fasso-Kenya-Nigeria-Yvory Coast-Tanzania-Zimbabwe-South Africa who converged in Leuven-Belgium for a three days training course in Spinal Muscular Atrophy ! And importantly- to team up !

There is already a great vibe in the team and we look forward to join together SMA-Europe in Ghent on Wednesday. We are also very excited to see our colleagues from Africa joining the World Muscle Society

Thanks to our amazing core team of trainers : Liesbeth Dewaele,  Tamara Dangouloff, Charlotte Lilien, Maryam Oskoui and Richard Finkel. Several other will join in the coming days for targeted sessions.

Thanks to the support of World Muscle Society- all training session are recorded and will be available on WMS website.

A big thank to our sponsors: Novartis, Roche,  WMS, Lacaer-Zentech and SMA Europe