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
Given that the Peace Corps is sending the first group of Volunteers to Montenegro in 2020, we do not have current data on health issues in-country at this time.
However, during pre-service training, the medical officer will provide you with information regarding the prevention and treatment of common health concerns. Please note that similar to other countries in the Balkans and in many parts of Europe, cigarette-smoking (indoors and outdoors) is very common in Montenegro. Also, due to the cold weather during winter, there can be heavy amounts of smoke from coal-burning and wood stoves, to keep warm. In addition, it is common for local citizens to burn their trash outside which may also affect the air quality.
Peace Corps staff and medical officers are there to support Volunteers stay healthy. It is ultimately your responsibility to stay to maintain good nutrition and hygiene, to practice stress management, and to follow your medical officer’s advice to minimize the possibility of becoming seriously ill. It also important that you are forthright with the Peace Corps about your physical and mental health history and report any health issues promptly.