Volunteer Medical Considerations

Before departing on an international volunteer program, there are several medical considerations that must be taken into account.

We often have volunteers ask for advice with respect to immunizations and malaria prophylactics. However, we are not medical experts and the specifics of which vaccines are required for each region changes regularly. Therefore, we cannot provide detailed information in this regard as part of our volunteer support system. Instead, we advise every volunteer to seek the advice of a qualified medical expert through either their doctor or a medical clinic that specializes in travel medicine.

We have found that many clinics rely on the Center for Disease Control website for updates regarding the latest requirements. Volunteers looking to gain some general information regarding vaccinations and travel medicine may choose to review the information on the website for the Center for Disease Control before visiting a clinic or their doctor.

Beyond vaccinations, volunteers should consider their physical conditions carefully before participating in international volunteer programs. We advise that all volunteers consult with their family doctors to discuss any personal health issues that may impact their decisions to participate in international volunteer programs. Keep in mind that, while a volunteer may choose a placement in a large city where medical services are readily available, many of our remote and rural placements are very far from a hospital or medical clinic.

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