The brain drain potential of skilled health workers from sub-Saharan Africa: A case study of pharmacy students in Nigeria


  • Kosisochi Amorha University of Nigeria Nsukka, PMB 410001, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Chinemerem Irobi University of Nigeria Nsukka, PMB 410001, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Arit Udoh University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK



Brain drain, Migration, Nigeria, Pharmacist, Pharmacy student


Background: The increasing migration of health workers from low- and middle-income countries is an ongoing public health concern. This study evaluated the brain drain potential of pharmacy students in Nigeria. 

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of final year pharmacy students from three Nigerian universities. Data collection was done via a 46-item self-administered questionnaire.    

Results: There were 377 respondents. Reasons for potential emigration included better standard of living (n=334, 88.6%), access to advanced technology (n=330, 87.5%) and opportunity for professional development (n=341, 90.5%) in the destination countries. Respondents younger than 25 years were more likely to have a high emigration potential compared to those older (98.6% vs 84.6%, ꭓ2=10.816, p=0.029).    

Conclusion: This study showed high emigration potential for the surveyed final year pharmacy students. This highlights the need for interventions that will promote retention and limit brain drain.

Author Biographies

Kosisochi Amorha, University of Nigeria Nsukka, PMB 410001, Enugu State, Nigeria

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chinemerem Irobi, University of Nigeria Nsukka, PMB 410001, Enugu State, Nigeria

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Arit Udoh, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

College of Medical and Dental Sciences


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How to Cite

Amorha, K., Irobi, C., & Udoh, A. (2022). The brain drain potential of skilled health workers from sub-Saharan Africa: A case study of pharmacy students in Nigeria. Pharmacy Education, 22(1), p. 654–663.



Research Article