Special World Polio Day program highlights progress in the global effort to end polio
EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emmy-winning actress Archie Panjabi, best known for her role as Kalinda on the hit series "The Good Wife," will talk about her volunteer work in support of polio eradication during a special program co-hosted by Rotary and Northwestern University's Center for Global Health on Oct. 24 – World Polio Day 2013 – in downtown Chicago.
The program, World Polio Day: Making History, will include remarks by Dr. Bruce Aylward, the world's leading expert on polio eradication and assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration at the World Health Organization; Dr. Robert Murphy, director of Northwestern University's Center for Global Health; and U.S. Paralympian Dennis Ogbe, a polio survivor and ambassador for the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life program.
The event will be streamed live to a global online audience at endpolionow.org from Northwestern University's John Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CST on Oct. 24. About 200 invited guests are expected to attend.The program will include an overview of the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which Rotary co-launched in 1988; the challenges that remain in the corners of the developing world where the crippling virus persists, and a discussion of the ways private citizens, corporations, and non-profits can participate in the historic final push now underway to end polio once and for all. Due to the eradication initiative's success in reaching the world's children with the oral polio vaccine, the disease today remains endemic to only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Ogbe, the Paralympian, is originally from Nigeria, where he contracted polio at age 3. Panjabi is one of Rotary's End Polio Now celebrity ambassadors. Last year, the British born actress helped Rotary volunteers immunize children in India, her parents' homeland, where she spent part of her childhood. Once considered the nation facing the most serious challenges to eradication, India was removed from the polio-endemic list in January 2012. "Seeing India become polio-free is tremendous, and I am committed to making sure that no other child anywhere suffers from polio again," Panjabi said in an interview published in the November issue of The Rotarian magazine.