CHANDLER, AZ — When there’s a medical need somewhere in the world, Dr. Andrew Villa is one of the first to answer the call.
“So, these are previous trips that I’ve been to, Armenia, Ukraine, Honduras, Kenya, Philippines,” said Villa pointing to a number of photographs on his office wall.
Villa has provided humanitarian aid with his expertise all over the world.
Later this week, the Arizona OBGYN and his wife Renee will leave for Ukraine.
The invasion by Russian forces took a devastating toll on the country's medical infrastructure.
“About 400 medical facilities, hospitals have been destroyed and so a large portion of their medical infrastructure has ceased to exist, and towns, villages, they have no medical care,” said Villa. “They have no medicine. No doctors or very few.”
Villa is deploying as part of a primary care team with the Global Care Force.
The nonprofit is sending volunteers with critical medical supplies and medications to help save as many lives as possible.
“We’ll be there for about two weeks and we’re going to be the initial team, so we are going to a few villages and towns, and set up primary care clinics and urgent care clinics to help provide for their primary care needs,” said Villa.
Once the clinics are in place, other physicians will rotate in and out of the country.
Clearly, entering a war zone carries inherent risks but Villa says previous trips have taught him that it's worth it every time.
“You can make a difference in many people’s lives, and I guarantee it will change your life and perspective the moment you hit the ground there, and especially when you return home,” said Villa.
Global Care Force is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested, click here.
This article was written by Cameron Polom for KNXV.