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

On the whole, Vanuatu is a healthy place to live. There are very few poisonous insects or reptiles on land and in the sea. Many of the serious tropical diseases present in other parts of the world are absent or are controlled in Vanuatu. One of the major problems for the local population is malaria. You will be taught how to reduce your risk of catching this disease by using sensible precautions to prevent mosquito bites and by taking prophylactic drugs. Volunteers rarely catch malaria, but those who do can make a full recovery if they seek prompt treatment. You will be given extensive information about malaria during training. Since weather in Vanuatu is hot and humid much of the time, good personal hygiene is important to prevent skin diseases.