Over 7,000 pharmacists emigrated from Nigeria in the last two years, the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Prof. Cyril Usifoh, said on Tuesday in Gombe.
Mr Usifoh told journalists that the pharmacists left Nigeria in search of a better practice environment abroad.
He stated that the issue of brain drain, which remains one of the major challenges in the health sector, needs serious attention in the interest of the well-being of Nigerians.
Mr Usifoh said the government needs to create an environment conducive for pharmacists to work to reverse the trend and to encourage pharmacists to stay and contribute to the development of the country.
“If you want to stop brain drain, you will create conditions to enable people not to go.
“Government should create the enabling environment that will prevent people from leaving, but to come here.
“I am confident that when the opportunities are there, you will have what we call brain gain; they will come back: we are here, we are not leaving,” he said.
Mr Usifoh, a professor of Pharmacy, said part of PSN’s activities as an association is to make Nigeria more self-sufficient and to improve the health sector.
On the society’s 96th annual conference holding in Gombe State, the president said the PSN was in the state to evaluate its works in the past one year and to strategise on ways to improve the health sector.
He noted that members and industrialists attending the conference were working to partner with the Gombe State government to harness opportunities that abound in the pharmaceutical industry in the state.
“We are planning to partner with the government, especially in its industrial park and to examine how pharmaceutical companies can possibly set up outlets in the state,” he said.
The theme of the PSN 2023 conference is: “Pharmaceutical Practice: A pivot to universal health coverage in Nigeria.” (NAN)