Choosing to join programs for health volunteers overseas is one of the noblest ways to volunteer. Health care is one thing that a lot of the third world countries are deprived of. Health care to them is expensive; therefore, volunteers who dedicate their time and skill to care for these people are modern day heroes. But when you are working as a health care, there is the irony that your health could be at risk too. You are exposed to possible health contaminants and infections that you could end up acquiring if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
If you are looking at health volunteering programs overseas and want to be a part of that, here are a few healthy tips to keep in mind first. You should work on keeping yourself healthy first so that you can provide the service that the local community expects from you.
See a Doctor First
Before you make that trip as part of your health volunteer work overseas, you should get a medical checkup first. Some countries also have existing health epidemics that you should know about. Make sure that your doctor has cleared you before you embark on your volunteering journey. It is also important to take all of the necessary vaccinations required for your specific destination.
Bring Your Own Health Kit
Most volunteer programs for health workers provide health assistance to those in need, such as in the form of medicine and free health checkups. But you have to pack your own travel health kit. This will carry basic health care supplies and medicines you need during emergency cases, especially when you do not have immediate access to health support from the program. Among the things you should carry in your health kit includes medicines, antibacterial wipes, antacids, insect repellent and more. Check Involvement Volunteers International for more details.
Get Enough Sleep
When you are volunteering abroad, you probably won’t have a definite sleep schedule. But when you have some time off from your volunteering duties, always put a priority on getting enough rest and sleep. Health volunteers overseas are often deprived of sleep in their desire to provide services to the local community. But when you lack the sleep, you are more vulnerable to acquiring illnesses. You should attain the minimum sleep requirement each day.
Get Some Exercise and Eat Healthy
It is hard to keep up with your exercise routine if you are overseas. Health volunteers overseas need any exercise they can get, though. You do not need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership to stay fit and healthy. You can go for a few minutes of jog each morning, or do yoga (it takes little to no equipment). It is also important to maintain a healthy diet. When buying local food items, make sure you clean them thoroughly and make sure they are properly cooked. You would not want to consume bacteria that can lead to diarrhea. To be on the safe side, do not try eating something that you haven’t tried before.
Ironic as it may seem, health workers are the ones most vulnerable to health risks. You should, therefore, take the above measures to protect your own health so you can be a more effective volunteer. For more info, visit http://www.volunteering.org.au/volunteer-abroad/medicine-healthcare/