Brain Drain: Nigeria loses 200 pharmacists to countries with ‘greener pastures’
NEWS DIGEST – Olabode Ogunjemiyo, National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, AHAPN, on Monday said about 200 of its members left the country in search of a better practice environment abroad.
Mr Ogunjemiyo said this at a news conference during its 23rd Annual National Scientific Conference with the theme entitled: ”COVID-19 Experience: Expanding the Role of Health-System Pharmacists” in Lafia.
Brain drain is a term indicating substantial emigration or migration of individuals which often results from turmoil within a nation or the existence of favourable professional opportunities in other countries, or from a desire to seek a higher standard of living.
He said that those who have left the country did so because of poor practice environment, insecurity, poor condition of services.
“I remember a colleague of mine who was traveling from Owo, in Ondo State where we practise, to Benin in Edo state.
“He was kidnapped along the way. As soon as he was released, he immediately left the country with his family.
“So those are the major reasons.
“So within the last one year, we have lost about 200 pharmacists to brain drain. Most of them have gone to Canada and other developed countries,” he said.
Mr Ogunjemiyo said that the situation as at now was that the pharmacists were more at the top level and few at the lower level because once they came in and saw better opportunities abroad, they just took off.
He said that the association was expecting over 1,000 pharmacists across the country from the rank and file within the Hospital and Administrative positions, and those from other areas of pharmacy practice to attend the conference which kicked off today.
“It is worthy of note that Nasarawa State is hosting the conference of any professional group of this magnitude for the very first time since its creation.
“It is indeed a great honour for the government and the people of Nasarawa state as the name of the state will be included in the pharmaceutical lexicon,” he said.
Mr Ogunjemiyo said during the conference, the association would pay courtesy call on dignitaries in the state, conduct health walk against drug abuse, health outreach for indigenes at the Emir of Lafia’s palace, Townhall meeting and plenary sessions.
“This is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility carried out regularly and during conferences of this magnitude.
“It is meant to complement efforts of Nasarawa Government in improving the health of its citizenry.
About 1,000 indigenes are expected to benefit from the medical outreach and they will enjoy pharmaceutical care, free of charge.
”Malaria, Blood Pressure check, Height and Weight check, Blood glucose are some of the issues to be looked into. They will also get free consultation and counselling,” he said.
Mr Ogunjemiyo said that the conference aimed to bring members together, provide enabling environment for discussion about practice issues and learn the latest development in hospital and administrative practice.