Community Health Promotion Specialist

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Project Description

Community Health Promotion Specialists advocate preventive health practices to help Guyanese of all ages lead healthy lives. They work alongside health professionals in regional hospitals, or function as advisers in other settings, designing and delivering institutional or community-based health promotion campaigns and activities.

Target populations include teenage mothers, children, youth, and the elderly. Interventions take place in hospitals, health centers, schools, faith-based organizations, work places and other community settings and focus areas include prevention of childhood illness; nutrition, diet and exercise; and youth sexual and reproductive health.

Community Health Promotion Specialists with appropriate skills and experience may also have the opportunity to train and mentor community health workers to build their skills and effectiveness in delivering health messages that result in positive behavioral change.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Master of Public Health degree or Master of Arts/Master of Science degree in Public Health
• Certified Physician's Assistant or Public Health Nurse with expressed interest in public/community health
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, Health, or Nursing

Desired Skills

Strong candidates for this position will have the following:

• Experience in non-communicable disease, and/or youth sexual and reproductive health, or other public health specialty
• Experience working in resource-poor environments to meet community needs
• Experience in design, delivery and evaluation of public health campaigns
• Experience training and mentoring healthcare providers

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

English is the official language spoken by nearly all Guyanese including those in indigenous communities. Other languages include Guyanese Creolese (widely spoken), and nine indigenous languages including Macushi, Wapishana, and Arawak. Trainees receive basic training in Guyanese Creolese language and culture, and will be provided with self-directed, immersion language learning techniques if they would like to learn the local language when at site.

Living Conditions

Community Health Promotion Specialists live and work in villages and towns along the coast, and in rural and remote communities in the interior of Guyana. Large towns have power lines, communication infrastructure and running water, while many rural villages rely on solar panels, latrines and community wells. Cell phone and internet service is sporadic throughout the country.

Community Health Promotion Specialists in remote locations will be issued satellite phones for emergency communication, and will have access to internet when they travel out of their communities once a month to shop and bank.

Transportation and living conditions vary, but Community Health Promotion Specialists in all locations should have the ability to:
• Endure long rides on public transportation and over water
• Adjust to high heat and humidity of tropical climate
• Use a latrine
• Fetch water in a bucket from a river or community well
• Live with limited access to electricity
• Walk or ride a bike long distances (2 to 10 kilometers) over uneven terrain to facilitate community integration and social and cultural understanding.

Community Health Promotion Specialists will live with a host family during the initial training period, and the first six months of service, after which they may have the option to pursue other housing that meets Peace Corps Guyana’s housing criteria. Note that independent housing may not be available in all communities.

Those who serve successfully in Guyana are open-minded, flexible, emotionally mature and resilient. They deal well with ambiguity and isolation and are proactive in an unstructured work setting. They are culturally competent and show respect by following cultural norms.

While Peace Corps Volunteers of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity have served successfully in Guyana, it is important to note that Guyana has restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of Guyanese law and cultural norms, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in the country and within their host communities. Peace Corps Guyana staff and currently-serving Volunteers will address this topic during Pre-Service Training and identify support mechanisms to help Volunteers who may experience a lack of openness and acceptance during their service. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guyana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Guyana

  • Guyana may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: cardiology; gastroenterology; insulin-dependent diabetes; seizures; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; HIV; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.  
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: eggs.  
  • After arrival in Guyana, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot,  to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

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