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-country

The Peace Corps/China preventive health care program includes immunizations for hepatitis A and B, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, influenza, meningitis, diphtheria and tetanus, polio, and mumps, measles, and rubella. If you have had any of these immunizations, please bring documentation from the providers who administered the vaccines. Without such documentation, the Peace Corps must give you the vaccines again to ensure that you are properly immunized. These immunizations are not optional. Avian influenza is endemic among the fowl population of Southeast Asia and south and southwestern China. Although there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of avian influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) believes the spread of infection could evolve suddenly to include human-to-human transmission. WHO is monitoring the situation very closely in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Egypt where most cases have occurred to-date. Peace Corps/China and other Peace Corps programs in Asia provide Tamiflu as a precaution. You should avoid contact with any types of birds, including chickens, ducks, and pigeons, to minimize risk of exposure to avian influenza. You should avoid all poultry farms, contact with animals in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals. Peace Corps headquarters will continue to monitor avian influenza and will keep the post advised.