Mexico

Health

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

Some illnesses in Mexico are related to the consumption of contaminated or inappropriately prepared food and beverages. This may result in gastrointestinal infections, dysentery, parasites, trichinosis, hepatitis, or typhoid fever. The best way to safeguard your health is to avoid improperly cooked foods, carefully prepare food and water, and practice safe personal hygiene. Brucellosis is mainly transmitted by drinking unpasteurized milk or eating dairy products or fresh cheese that has not been properly pasteurized. It is very important to only drink pasteurized milk and dairy products. Consuming foods containing chilies can also temporarily upset your stomach and cause diarrhea. Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, are also an important concern and proper precautions should always be taken. In the coastal areas of the country, malaria is also prevalent, so prophylaxis may need to be taken when traveling. Diabetes and asthma are increasing health concerns, particularly in larger urban areas. Poor air quality also may result in respiratory infections, allergies, and breathing problems. Obesity and heart disease are also increasing in Mexico as people become more sedentary and fast-food diets become more commonplace. In addition to infectious diseases, automobile accidents, either while driving or as a pedestrian, are a major public health concern.