Illness and injury happen both at home and abroad. One of our goals in preparing you to serve as a Volunteer is to help you understand the health risks of the country where you will serve.
Please take a moment to learn about the most prevalent health risks and the most commonly treated illnesses Volunteers experience while serving in Sierra Leone [PDF].
The health of Volunteers is a key priority of the Peace Corps. Volunteers are given information on country-specific health concerns and trained in health risk prevention during pre-service training. In addition, as a Volunteer, you will have access to medical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Read more on how the Peace Corps approaches medical care during service.
Each country maintains a Health Unit with Medical Officers who handle Volunteers' primary health care needs, including evaluation and treatment of most medical conditions. Upon your arrival in-country, the Medical Officers are available to provide health care services. The Health Unit will provide you with a country-specific health handbook and a medical kit with basic medical supplies to treat mild illnesses and injuries. The Peace Corps will restock your medical kit with supplies as needed throughout your service. Your prescription medications will be ordered for you during pre-service training and provided throughout your service, but these medications may take several months to arrive. Therefore, the Peace Corps requests you bring at least a three-month supply of your prescriptions (e.g., birth control) and other specific medical supplies to use during your initial months in-country.
During service, the Peace Corps Medical Officers are available to answer your questions, and you are always free to contact them by phone, text message, email, or in person if 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 at the authorization of a Medical Officer. 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 to the United States.