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Title:Holding the brains back in: an assessment of measures against brain drain in the Malawian health sector
Authors:Tambulasi, Richard I.C.ISNI
Chasukwa, Michael
Periodical:Africa Review: Journal of African Studies Association of India (ISSN 0974-4061)
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:brain drain
health personnel
public health
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/09744053.2015.1030867
Abstract:Migration studies especially in developing countries have fallen short of analysing the impacts of the mitigating variables. This paper therefore fills the lacuna by analysing measures against brain drain in the Malawian health sector. Migration of health workers has been affecting health service delivery in the country. However, although some measures to curb brain drain or minimize its impacts have been implemented, little is known about their effectiveness. The problem with this knowledge gap is that it makes various stakeholders and experts fail to make interventions in an informed, well-focused and coordinated manner. This is a qualitative study based on data collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with various key stakeholders and health service deliverers. The paper finds that various measures to control brain drain or minimize its impacts in Malawi have been applied. Some of these include salary top-ups, provision of various forms of training, bonding contracts, housing schemes and other external arrangements. However, the study finds that although these measures have the potential to control brain drain or minimize its effects, they face several implementation, institutional and organizational challenges that affect their effective execution and hence make gains obtained to be fragile and unsustainable. The paper contributes to the understanding of organizational, institutional and policy challenges that affect the effectiveness of measures to curb brain drain in a developing context environment. To this end, the study informs policy-makers and public sector managers the need to address these if interventions are to obtain effective results. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]