Two Covid experts are leaving Africa. Is this a brain drain or a gain?

2021.10.17 12:41 H25azbxwyz Two Covid experts are leaving Africa. Is this a brain drain or a gain?

(Source: CNN)
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Two of Africa's Covid experts are leaving the continent. Is this a brain drain or gain for Africa?
Doctor John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, has welcomed his September nomination to lead the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a position that, if confirmed by the US Senate, he would be the first African to hold.
Earlier the same month, Doctor Chikwe Ihekweazu, who currently heads the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control was appointed to lead the World Health Organization Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in the German capital Berlin, WHO said, with the Nigerian physician on course to assume his new position on November 1.
Some experts assert that this coincidental turn of events underscores the health sector brain drain from Africa.
"That's brain drain" said Doctor Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, a former president of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors.
Nkengasong is a decorated Cameroonian-born virologist, who has chaired the Africa CDC since its launch in 2017, and has played a critical role in Africa's coronavirus response, amplifying the need for "rapid access to vaccines."
Nigeria's Ihekweazu, an epidemiologist and public health expert, is famed for strengthening his country's capacity to tackle infectious diseases and has helped it contain the third wave of Covid-19 infections with tracking and testing efforts.
Ihekweazu's strides at the NCDC had been commended by WHO.
Medical brain drain persists
The emigration of African physicians has continued to rise. In 2015, over 13000 emigrated to the US alone, representing a 27 percent increase over the course of the previous decade, one study found.
"If not managed well, increased demand for health workers, especially in specialities like anaesthesiology, will leave considerable gaps in Africa's already weak health systems" the report said.
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