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-CountryThe most common health problems in Tanzania are ones that also exist in the United States, such as colds, diarrhea, skin infections, headaches, minor injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and adjustment disorders. These problems may be more frequent or compounded by life in Tanzania because environmental factors in-country raise the risk of, or exacerbate the severity of, certain illnesses and injuries. Illnesses specific to Tanzania are those typical of other tropical countries, such as malaria, schistosomiasis, gastrointestinal disorders, typhoid fever, and hepatitis. All of these are preventable with appropriate knowledge and interventions. You will be vaccinated in-country against hepatitis A and B, meningitis, tetanus, typhoid, and rabies. Because malaria is endemic in Tanzania, taking antimalarial medication is required of all Volunteers.
Tanzania is one of the countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which can impact anyone— males and females, adults and children—regardless of sexual orientation. You will receive more information from the medical officer about this important issue.
Alcohol is an integral part of many social interactions in Tanzania, and you may feel pressure to drink in these situations. If you have any problem with the use of alcohol, be sure that you can manage this type of pressure before accepting an assignment in Tanzania. Currently, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings exist only in the Dodoma and Arusha.