Each post maintains a health unit with at least one full-time medical officer who handles Volunteers’ primary health-care needs, including evaluation and treatment of most medical conditions. Upon your arrival in-country, you will receive a country-specific health handbook. During pre-service training, the health unit will provide you with a medical kit with basic medical supplies to treat mild illnesses and first aid needs. During this time, you must provide your own prescription medications and any other specific medical supplies you need. (Bring a three-month supply of your prescriptions!). Your prescription medications will be ordered for you during Pre-Service training, and it may take several months for shipments to arrive. After training the medical officers will provide the prescription medications you take during service. Your medical kit can be restocked anytime during service.
During service, the medical officers are available to answer your
questions, and you may always feel free to contact them by phone, text message,
email, or in person if you feel you have a physical, emotional, or other
problem that relates to your health or well-being. You will have physicals at
mid-service and at the end of your service, and can be seen by your medical officer
on an as-needed basis. Additional medical care is available at local hospitals.
If you develop a serious medical problem during your service, the medical
officer will consult with the Office of Health Services in Washington, D.C., or
a regional medical officer. If you cannot receive the care you need in-country,
you will be transported to a Peace Corps-approved regional medical facility or
the U.S. Read more about the Peace Corps’ approach to health.
Health Issues In-CountryHealth conditions in Botswana are quite good. The most common health problems are related to the climate, which at times is very hot and dry and in winter can be colder than you may expect. Such preventive measures as a good diet, adequate hydration, and being alert to changes in your body are more important here than at home. Most villages have health posts or clinics, with hospitals in the larger villages and towns. Hospitals in the capital have good facilities. HIV/AIDS is a major health and development problem in the region, as Botswana’s HIV infection rate is one of the highest in the world. Infection with HIV is preventable, however, if one avoids risky behavior. The most important of your responsibilities in Botswana is to take the following preventive measures:
- Malaria prophylaxis
- Precautions to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission
- Safe transportation choices