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
- Radiation and nuclear safety: The U.S. Department of Energy and the Ukrainian Nuclear
Regulatory Commission collaborate in monitoring and ensuring safety at all operating nuclear
power plants in Ukraine. Volunteers are not placed within 30 kilometers of such facilities. The
effects of the 1986 Chernobyl accident continue to be monitored. No Volunteers are placed at any
site with higher-than-normal levels of radiation. The Ukrainian government monitors the level of
radiation in fresh foods and meats sold in Ukraine.
- Industrial air pollution: During the Soviet era, the central and eastern regions of Ukraine
were heavily industrialized, resulting in air, ground, and water pollution. Volunteers are not
placed in sites with unacceptable levels of pollution. While smog in cities may be no worse than
in the United States, Volunteers with asthma may find their condition exacerbated.
- Insufficient infrastructure: Water supply systems in some communities do not guarantee
potable water. In other locations, availability of water is limited to several hours. Hot water and
heating are often not available and residents may use space heaters, coal- or wood-burning stoves,
or other means to heat their homes. In general, living quarters in the winter are cooler than what
Americans are accustomed to.