Over 10000 Medical Lab Scientists Exit Nigeria Mlscn Raises Alarm1

Over 10,000 Medical Lab Scientists Exit Nigeria, MLSCN Raises Alarm

The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) has reported a concerning exodus of medical laboratory scientists from Nigeria, with a total of 10,697 professionals having left the country. This significant migration poses a serious challenge to Nigeria’s healthcare system. Dr. Tosan Erhabor, the Registrar of the Council, disclosed this alarming statistic in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

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The Federal Ministry of Health is working on a policy addressing this escalating health worker migration issue. Recognizing the potential impact on the nation’s healthcare infrastructure, the government is moving swiftly to implement a policy framework to regulate the migration of Nigerian health workers.

Dr Erhabor pointed out that the government is considering revising the minimum wage and specific allowances for health professionals as a response. He emphasized that providing a safe and conducive work environment is crucial to reducing the pace of brain drain among medical laboratory scientists.

In 2023 alone, more than 4,504 medical laboratory scientists left Nigeria. The reasons for this mass migration are varied, including inadequate remuneration, career progression uncertainties, the pursuit of foreign education, skill enhancement, and improved professional status. Other contributing factors are Nigeria’s dire security situation, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of modern equipment.

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Nigeria’s rising cost of living has also been a significant factor, making it difficult for medical laboratory scientists to provide primary care and quality education for their families. The preferred destinations for these professionals are the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. This brain drain not only represents a loss of skilled professionals for Nigeria but also potential strains on the healthcare systems of the receiving nations.

As the Federal Ministry of Health works towards implementing a migration regulation policy, there is hope that this will create a more sustainable and appealing environment for healthcare professionals in Nigeria, thereby strengthening the country’s healthcare sector.


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The exodus of over 10,000 medical laboratory scientists from Nigeria, as reported by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), is a stark reminder of the challenges facing the nation’s healthcare system. This brain drain is multifaceted, rooted in systemic problems ranging from inadequate remuneration and career progression opportunities to poor working conditions and security concerns.

The government’s initiative to address this issue through policy changes, including revising wages and allowances, is a step in the right direction. However, these measures must go beyond financial incentives. Creating a safe, conducive, and professionally rewarding work environment is essential to retaining these healthcare professionals.

The impact of this brain drain extends beyond the healthcare sector, affecting the overall well-being and development of the nation. The loss of skilled professionals weakens the healthcare system and deprives the country of valuable human capital necessary for growth and innovation.

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As Nigeria grapples with this challenge, it is imperative to adopt a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of the migration. This includes improving security, enhancing infrastructure, providing modern equipment, and ensuring clear pathways for career advancement. Additionally, fostering a culture of respect and recognition for healthcare professionals is vital.

The mass migration of medical laboratory scientists is a wake-up call for Nigeria to prioritize its healthcare workforce’s welfare and professional development. By creating a more sustainable and attractive working environment, Nigeria can not only stem the tide of brain drain but also build a more robust, resilient healthcare system.

Did You Know?

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  1. Nigeria has one of Africa’s most significant numbers of medical laboratory scientists.
  2. Medical laboratory scientists play a crucial role in diagnosing and managing diseases, contributing significantly to public health.
  3. Nigeria faces a significant challenge in healthcare worker retention, with many professionals seeking opportunities abroad for better prospects.
  4. The healthcare sector in Nigeria is often hampered by inadequate funding, leading to challenges in service delivery and infrastructure development.
  5. The migration of healthcare professionals from Nigeria to more developed countries is part of a global trend known as the ‘brain drain’.


  • Felicia Komeja

    Felicia Komeja is a news content writer that loves to sew, travel, Copywrite, and read. She has one daughter, and her life revolves around this little girl who lights up Felicia's world with laughter. Email: felicia.komeja@yohaig.ng

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