Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Niger J Med. 2007 Jul-Sep;16(3):204-11.

The health workforce crisis: the brain drain scourge.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (Unth) Enugu.



The magnitude of the health workforce crisis engendered by brain drain particularly in Africa, and nay more especially Nigeria, has been assuming increasingly alarming proportions in the past three decades. The challenge it poses in meeting the manpower needs in the healthcare sector as well as in the larger economy of the sending countries is enormous. This paper thus sets out to highlight the scope of this brain drain, its effects and the reasons sustaining it, as well as makes concrete suggestions to help stern the tide.


A review of the literature on brain drain with particular emphasis on the health workforce sector was done, with focus on Africa, and specifically Nigeria. Literature search was done using mainly the Medline, as well as local journals.


The historical perspectives, with the scope of external and internal brain drain are explored. The glaring effects of brain drain both in the global workforce terrain and specifically in the health sectors are portrayed. The countries affected most and the reasons for brain drain are outlined. Strategic steps to redress the brain drain crisis are proffered in this paper.


The health workforce crisis resulting from brain drain must be brought to the front-burner of strategic policy decisions leading to paradigm shift in political, social and economic conditions that would serve as incentives to curb the scourge.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk