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2/15/09 The Sectors: Health

As part of my ongoing, every-other-day series on Peace Corps, I'm going to discuss each of the four sectors in which PCVs serve, here in Morocco: Youth Development, Small Business Development, Health, and Environment. They are four of the five most-populous sectors in all of Peace Corps, so this should be useful information for Peace Corps applicants, regardless of which country or region they're hoping for. Today, I'll focus on Health.

Health Volunteers typically partner with a nurse or doctor in a sbitar, or rural clinic. They may provide health lessons on topics like toothbrushing, handwashing, anti-smoking, SIDA (AIDS) prevention, prenatal care, or nearly anything else that has to do with keeping yourself healthy. They may directly assist the medical staff with tasks like weighing babies. One popular project among Health Volunteers is arranging the purchase of an incinerator, to safely dispose of medical waste. Another is helping a community install sanitary bathrooms.

Some Health Volunteers have medical backgrounds or even nursing degrees, but the vast majority do not. (What about people with medical degrees, you ask? They usually join Doctors Without Borders, not Peace Corps.)

Health Volunteers are often groundbreakers, moving into sites that have never had a Peace Corps Volunteer before. These are often very remote and underdeveloped villages. If you're looking for a "real" Peace Corps experience, without running water or electricity, Health may be the sector for you.

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps