Osong Public Health Res Perspect.  2015 Apr;6(2):133-139. 10.1016/j.phrp.2015.02.004.

Review for the Korean Health Professionals and International Cooperation Doctors Dispatched to Peru by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)

  • 1Division of Epidemic Intelligence Service, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Korea


South Korea dispatches Korean nationals to partner developing countries as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). In the health sector, KOICA dispatches international cooperation doctors (ICDs), nurses, physical therapists, radiologic technologists, nutritionists, medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists, and dental hygienists. A total of 216 ICDs were dispatched over 19 times from 1995 until 2013. There were 19 areas of specialties among the ICDs. The most common specialty was internal medicine (61/216, 28.2%), the second most common specialty was general surgery (43/216, 19.9%), followed by oriental medicine (27/216, 12.5%), pediatrics (17/216, 7.9%), orthopedics (16/216, 7.4%), family medicine (16/216, 7.4%), and odontology (14/216, 6.5%). The ICDs have worked in 21 countries. KOICA dispatched the highest number of ICDs to Asia (97/216, 44.9%), followed by Africa (50/216, 23.1%), Latin America (34/216, 15.7%), the commonwealth of independent states (31/216, 14.4%), and Oceania (4/216, 1.9%). Nobody was dispatched to the Middle East. A total of 134 KOICA health professionals were dispatched to Peru from 1996 until October 1, 2014. Of these, 19.4% (26/134) were ICDs, 44.8% (60/216) were nurses, 20.1% (27/134) were physical therapists, 6.7% (9/134) were radiologic technologists, 2.2% (3/134) were nutritionists, and 6.7% (9/134) were medical laboratory. ICDs' specialties comprised internal medicine (13/26, 50%), family medicine (8/26, 30.8%), pediatrics (2/26, 7.7%), otorhinolaryngology (1/26, 3.8%), orthopedics (1/26, 3.8%), and oriental medicine (1/26, 3.8%). Most of the dispatched health professionals worked at institutions that were supported by KOICA. For this reason, the proportion of health professionals who worked at public health centers (PHCs) was the highest (58.2%, 78/134) when classified by workplace type. Other KOICA health professionals worked at hospitals, governmental organizations (GOs), or schools.


health professionals; international cooperation doctors; KOICA; Peru
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