Letter from the Amigos Medical Director
Dear AMIGOS Volunteer,
Congratulations on your decision to participate in the AMIGOS program. AMIGOS’ highest priority is your safety and health. We want to emphasize that your personal health practices are the first line of defense for staying well in Latin America. We encourage you to look closely at your Volunteer Handbook for more information on personal health and safety. Your personal health habits also contribute to your credibility as a model health worker in your host community.
In the United States, we often take basic public health conditions, such as cleanliness of water and food, safety on the roads, mosquito and insect control for granted. In the US, we can live safely and healthily without paying close attention to basic health practices such as washing hands frequently, decontaminating our water, knowing which foods are safe to eat, taking immediate care of cuts and scrapes and using appropriate insect bite precautions.
In AMIGOS project areas in Latin America, the public health infrastructure may be weaker than in the US. Therefore, your own personal health habits are essential for you to stay well. Here are some basic guidelines for staying healthy:
Protection from insect borne diseases:
- Avoid restaurants where food may be kept outside and/or uncovered.
- Avoid cologne and scented deodorants, oils and creams – they attract bugs.
- Always wear shoes.
- Avoid swimming in fresh water lakes and ponds.