Stemming the impact of health professional brain drain from Africa: a systemic review of policy options

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Edward Zimbudzi *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Edward Zimbudzi |


Africa has been losing professionally trained health workers who are the core of the health system of this continent for many years. Faced with an increased burden of disease and coupled by a massive exodus of the health workforce, the health systems of many African nations are risking complete paralysis. Several studies have suggested policy options to reduce brain drain from Africa. The purpose of this paper is to review possible policies, which can stem the impact of health professional brain drain from Africa. A systemic literature review was conducted. Cinahl, Science Direct and PubMed databases were searched with the following terms: health professional brain drain from Africa and policies for reducing impact of brain drain from Africa. References were also browsed for relevant articles. A total of 425 articles were available for the study but only 23 articles met the inclusion criteria. The review identified nine policy options, which were being implemented in Africa, but the most common was task shifting which had success in several African countries. This review has demonstrated that there is considerable consensus on task shifting as the most appropriate and sustainable policy option for reducing the impact of health professional brain drain from Africa.

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Author Biography

Edward Zimbudzi, Department of Nephrology, Monash Health, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Melbourne, Victoria

Clinical Nurse Specialist