Dr. Michael Schull is no stranger to the world of international medicine, with past stints in Iraq, Burundi and Bangladesh under his belt.

But this time around, things will be decidedly different when he heads abroad — and not just because of the destination.

Schull will be joined by his wife, Dr. Josee Sarrazin, and their three young children as they leave the comforts of Canada behind to relocate to Malawi to help battle HIV-AIDS in the impoverished African country.

The family is slated to leave Saturday to spend a year in Malawi. It will take several days for them to make the journey, travelling first to London, then Johannesburg, before flying next week to Blantyre, located about 45 minutes away from their new home in the town and district of Zomba.

Schull, an emergency room physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, is on the board of directors of Dignitas International, a medical humanitarian organization that works to increase access to life-saving HIV-AIDS-related prevention and treatment.

Dignitas has focused its humanitarian efforts on Malawi, where an estimated 930,000 adults and children are living with HIV, and where more than 500,000 children have been orphaned due to AIDS.