Nigeria pharmacists flee country, seek opportunities abroad, laments AHAPN

By Oviri Kelvin

The Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), has revealed that some of its members have left the country to seek better career opportunities because of several issues including the heightened level of insecurity.

AHAPN said that most of the members have exploited the option of going to Canada and other developed countries.

In a statement by the President of AHAPN, Olabode Ogunjemiyo, during its 23rd Annual National Scientific Conference with the theme ‘COVID-19 Experience: Expanding the Role of Health System Pharmacists’ in Lafia, he recounted how a friend of his was kidnapped en route to Benin, Edo State.

Ogunjemiyo said, “I remember a colleague of mine who was travelling from Owo, in Ondo state where we practice 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.

“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 lamented.

The President of AHAPN stressed that the outflow of Nigerian pharmacists has created an imbalance in the system with top-level pharmacists outnumbering the pharmacists in the lower cadre because the latter have resorted to exploring opportunities in the developed countries.

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Ogunjemiyo, said, “The association expected 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 commended.

Furthermore, the Ogunjemiyo outlined that AHAPN as part of the activities listed for accomplishment, will visit dignitaries in the state, create an awareness campaign against drug abuse through health walk, health outreach for indigenes at the Emir of Lafia’s palace, town hall meeting and plenary sessions.

He continued: “This is part of our corporate social responsibility carried out regularly and during conferences of this magnitude. It is meant to complement the efforts of the Nasarawa government in improving the people’s health.

“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,” AHAPN President explained.

Ogunjemiyo expressed that about 1,000 indigenes are expected to benefit from the medical outreach and they will enjoy pharmaceutical care, free of charge.

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