Health & HIV/AIDS Capacity Building – Clinic & Health Team Volunteer

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Project Description

Peace Corps Botswana has partnered with the Government of Botswana and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to strengthen Botswana’s response to the HIV epidemic, the second most severe in the world. The purpose of our Health Project is to strengthen the capacity of individuals, service providers, and organizations to mitigate the effects of HIV and AIDS through prevention of new infections and care for those living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.

As a Clinic and Health Team Volunteer, you will be assigned to a rural clinic or health post serving a small community, or a District Health Management Team (DHMT) responsible for multiple health facilities and HIV programs and services across an entire health district.

If placed in a clinic/health post, you will most likely work alongside the Health Education Assistant or community health nurse to strengthen outreach work in HIV prevention, treatment adherence and care for People Living with HIV delivered through health talks, home visits, support groups and community campaigns. You may also assist the clinic/health post improve HIV service delivery by strengthening systems, such as health commodity logistics and supply chain management, client tracking and monitoring systems.

If placed in a District Health Management Team, you will most likely work alongside the Health Education Officer or another program manager responsible for ensuring HIV programs and services are implemented in clinics, hospitals and communities within the district. You will also assist in strengthening data collection, analysis and reporting, implementation of district-wide campaigns, and improving delivery of HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services. You will also support pharmacists and laboratory technicians to improve health commodity logistics and supply chain management and may assist the environmental health team in malaria prevention. You will also be involved in the larger district HIV response through the District Multi-sectoral AIDS Committee.

Please note there are multiple health projects in Botswana from which to choose, and you can only have one active Peace Corps application at a time. You are encouraged to closely review each of the Botswana project descriptions and select the one that not only fits your interests, but also best aligns your skill set with the required and desired skills listed in the description. You will have the opportunity in your application materials to tell us if you are open to being considered for other program options within Botswana, outside of the one for which you choose to apply.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in the health sector and one or more of the following criteria:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field

OR

• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

Our most competitive candidates will meet 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 Assistant or Public Health Nurse with expressed interest in public/community health

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, Health, or Nursing


Additional desired skills for all candidates include:
• Experience in HIV and AIDS programs, health behavior change, clinical practice, nutrition, reproductive health, or community health education

• Experience in public health, health program management, including monitoring and evaluation, supply chain management, or malaria prevention

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Additional Language Information

Trainees receive intensive training in Setswana, the national language, and must attain an “intermediate low” level by the end of pre-service training. Business is often conducted in English, the official language, but true successful service and integration only happens when the Volunteer learns Setswana. The prevalence of English makes language learning a challenge, thus trainees and Volunteers must actively pursue their language learning for success.

Living Conditions

Botswana is blessed with beautiful weather with up to 340 days of sunshine each year! You will arrive at the end of winter, which is windy, sunny and warm. The rainy season follows in October when temperatures start to rise. October to February is the hottest period, spring follows in April and winter begins in May. Summers are very hot, reaching temperatures into the 90s, and winters are cold with freezing temperatures at times. Botswana is an arid country characterized by lack of surface water, low humidity and dry heat. Rainfall is low and the country experiences periodic and prolonged drought.

As a Volunteer in Botswana, you will be assigned to an organization and work a full week based on the hours of the organization. The Government work day is 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. You will be expected to dress professionally and abide by the Government’s dress code if placed in a Government office or school.

During pre-service training, you will live with a local family who will share Botswana culture and traditions, teach you how to manage village life and practice speaking Setswana with you. During your service, you will live in accommodation identified by your organization and approved by Peace Corps. You will have a modest dwelling that may be on a family compound. Volunteers in rural towns may have electricity and running water, while this may not be available in rural villages. You will be matched to your site based on your knowledge, skills and experience. You must be prepared to accept the living conditions at site, as you will be living under the same conditions as the people with and for whom you work. Some sites are isolated with the closest shopping up to 2 hours away.

While Botswana is generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity are more conservative than in the US. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms, and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during pre-service training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees. It is not a crime to identify as non-heterosexual in Botswana and the decision to serve openly is left to each individual Volunteer. Many LGBTQ Volunteers have served successfully in Botswana.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Botswana: 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 Botswana

  • Botswana may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; ophthalmology; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Vyvanse.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
  • After arrival in Botswana, 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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